In 1986 I returned to the Lehigh Valley from Massachusetts. After earning a BFA in photography from MassArt in 1980 and exploring the natural landscape of New England with my camera for an additional six years, Cape Cod, the Berkshires, Hudson River to Acadia, I felt it was time to head home.
I settled into the town of Kempton, Northeastern Berks County, close by Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the land of my ancestors. The Schoolhouse Project was inevitable and reflected a desire to blend cultural history within the natural landscape. Many of the brick buildings remain their iconic structure dedicated to education before consolidation. Their uniformity of design provides a common subjective anchor within a wonderful variety of settings that our region is noted for.
The Schoolhouse Project was instrumental in obtaining an MFA in Photography from the University of Delaware, which led to twenty-six years as a part time lecturer at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. At the same time, it opened the door to the HABS/HAER division of the National Park Service, which I serve till this day.
Sometime around 1900, along with many other students, my grandfather carved his initials on a brick next to the front door of the Weisenberg School. I have a negative of that detail.
Weisenberg School, Lehigh County, PA” 25×32 inch Silver Gelatin Print