I grew  up in  Williamsburg, Virginia. For me it was a place I had to leave behind, and for years it held little interest to me as a photographer. The restoration itself seemed a too perfect reality--a Disneyland of the American past. But it was that idealized, or simulated, version of history that eventually piqued my curiosity.

During art school I saw Charles Sheeler's photographs and paintings of Williamsburg. I realized then, for the first time, that there was something of value in the purity of that architecture. This vernacular architecture was an expression of the early founders of America to civilize the wilderness. The forms were simple, unadorned, but conveyed a desire for beauty and utility.

Rather than photograph the principle buildings of Williamsburg, which have been well-documented, I choose to focus on the outbuildings and dependencies that stand mostly behind the main houses. These structures were used for many purposes including smokehouses, dairies, kitchens, storage sheds, and slaves' quarters.
To some, Colonial Williamsburg is a theme park of American history--to others, a museum with serious intentions. Despite efforts to present the reality of everyday colonial life, the grounds remain pristine, though some areas are allowed to exhibit a certain self-conscious haphazardness.

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