The first US exhibit of rare, century-old photos taken by British song collector Cecil Sharp opens at The Madison County Arts Center from April 3 - May 31. The photos feature some of the singers he visited during his travels.
Britons Sharp and his assistant Maud Karpeles collected variants of English ballads between 1916-1918; their collecting work began in Hot Springs with the help of Olive Campbell, founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School.
By the end of their 46-week travels through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, the pair had collected more than 1600 variants of English ballads collected from 281 singers.
While the songs have been published, photos of the singers taken by Sharp, have never been exhibited in the United States. The exhibit is part of a three-year centennial observance of Sharp’s and Karpeles’ work.