Nationally renowned photographer Carol M. Highsmith will join Mayor Chuck Cahn for a very special look “Behind the Lens” of her decades-long project to photograph America for the Library of Congress at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Cherry Hill Public Library.
Highsmith has traveled the country photographing the landscape, people, buildings and culture of cities and states across the United States since 1992. All of her work is donated, rights-free, to the Library of Congress, for the use and enjoyment of the American public.
With the support of the nonprofit This is America! Foundation, Highsmith has completed four comprehensive state explorations to date, and is working in two others. The focus of her historic, nationwide study will produce an enduring visual record of our nation today.
This rare public appearance will give residents a chance to meet the woman often called “America’s Photographer,” and to hear firsthand what inspires her work, what attracts her attention, and what she hopes to achieve during her travels.
The evening will also serve as the official unveiling of Highsmith’s photography of Cherry Hill, which was captured during a two-day visit to the township in the spring of 2015. The photos will remain on display at the library through the month of December.
Cherry Hill is the first New Jersey municipality to be photographed for the series. Highsmith’s images feature some of the township’s most iconic local landmarks, places and historic sites, including Barclay Farmstead, Croft Farm, the Cherry Hill Public Library and Cherry Hill Mall.
Today, the Carol M. Highsmith Collection is among the top six collections out of 15 million images in the Library’s Prints and Photographs archive, where it resides alongside the work of Civil War master photographer Mathew Brady, pioneer female photography Frances Benjamin Johnston, Depression photojournalist Dorothea Lange and others.
“Carol is a fascinating person who has seen firsthand every facet of our country; photographed presidents; and captured priceless moments in time. Whether you’re a photographer, an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a casual observer, everyone will walk away from this look ‘Behind the Lens’ with a new appreciation not just for our community, but for all of America,” Cahn said.
For more information about Highsmith’s work, visit her website at www.chplnj.org. To learn about the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at the Library of Congress, visit www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/highsm.