Guide to the Rachel Boillot photographs, 2014-2015
Collection comprises two portfolios by documentary photographer Rachel Boillot: "Después del dia: migrant farmworkers in North Carolina," portraits of farmworkers from across the state of North Carolina, their families, and their residences, and a few shots of workers in the field; and "Silent ballad," portraits of traditional musicians and their families from the Tennessee Cumberland Mountains region, along with images of their residences, interior settings, towns, and natural landscapes. The "Después del dia" work forms part of the multi-artist project "Where we live: a North Carolina portrait." There are 88 color pigment inkjet prints in the collection as a whole, ranging in size from 23x27 to 14x19 inches. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
- Collection Number
- Rachel Boillot photographs
- 3.5 Linear Feet, 3 boxes; 88 prints
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Materials are in English.
Collection comprises two photographic portfolios by documentary photographer Rachel Boillot: "Después del dia: migrant farmworkers in North Carolina," and "Silent ballad," an exploration of Tennessee Appalachian mountain life, culture, and musical traditions.
The two series hold a total of 88 color pigment inkjet prints, 54 in "Después del dia" and 34 in "Silent ballad," scanned from 4x5 inch and 120mm negatives. They range in size from 23x27 to 14x19 inches, with the majority measuring 21x25 inches.
The images in "Después del dia" were taken from 2014 to 2015 as part of the "Where We Live: A North Carolina Portrait" project. They portray migrant farmworkers and their families across the state of North Carolina. Most were taken at their homes, and feature interior as well as exterior settings, but a few images are of workers in the field. As the photographer writes, "This look at the dwelling places of migrant farmworkers is ultimately my exploration of how one creates a home while residing in a transient state of being." The Where We Live Photographic Fellowship was funded by the Annenberg Foundation and directed by photographer Alex Harris.
In "Silent ballad," Boillot turned her focus to traditional musicians living in Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains region. As well as portraits of fiddlers, banjo players, guitarists, ballad singers, and their families, there are images of towns, roads, theaters, markets, cabins and houses, interiors of rooms, and natural landscapes, including some of state parks. Although the images were taken in Tennessee, there is one portrait of noted fiddler Clyde Davenport taken in Monticello, Kentucky, near the Tennessee border.
The "Silent ballad" project was part of a post-graduate fellowship by the Riverview Foundation of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in partnership with Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, and Cumberland Trail State Park’s Music Heritage Project. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
The collection is divided into the two photographic bodies of work, Después del dia and Silent ballad. Después del dia is further subdivided into exhibit prints and master prints.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The "Después del dia" project participant consent forms stipulate that individual names of participants may not be published.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Rachel Boillot photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
This body of work comprises 34 images taken by Rachel Boillot of old-time musicians and their families living in the Cumberland mountains of Tennessee. Subjects include fiddlers and a fiddle maker, banjo players, guitarists, ballad singers, musicians' spouses. Settings include old homesteads and new residences, interiors, a music hall and a theater, and landscapes from the area, including some of Sequatchie State Park near Pikeville. Other communities pictured include Knoxville, Harriman, Harrogate, Jamestown, Oak Ridge, LaFollette, Lenoir City, Rockwood, Spencer, Norris, and Whitleyville. One image captures participants in a Cherokee song ritual performed at the Fall Creek Falls Festival near Spencer. There is one portrait of noted fiddler Clyde Davenport at his home in Monticello, Kentucky, near the Tennessee border.
The color pigment inkjet prints measure 21x25 inches, with an image size of 16x20 inches, and were created in 2016 from scans of 4x5 inch and 120 mm color negatives. They were printed on Museo Silver Rag paper.
This body of work features images of migrant farmworkers and their families and residences from across the state of North Carolina, and forms part of the Where We Live Photographic Fellowship project. There are two sets of color inkjet prints: a set of 37 21x25 inch prints, followed by a set of 17 prints created for the "Where we live" exhibit, in varying sizes ranging from 14x19 to 17x25 inches, and three 23x27 inch prints. The photographs in this project were taken with a large-format view camera. All prints were created in 2016 from scanned 4x5 negatives.
Folders house 37 archival color pigment inkjet prints measuring 21x25 inches, with image dimensions of approximately 16x20 inches. The prints were made by scanning 4x5 inch color negatives, and were printed on Museo Silver Rag paper in 2016.
Folders house a total of 17 prints: 14 in various sizes ranging from approximately 14x19 to 17x24 inches, and three 22x27 inch prints. The prints were made from scans of 4x5 inch color negatives, and were printed on Museo Silver Rag paper in 2016 as part of the "Where we live: a North Carolina portrait" exhibit.
Rachel Boillot is a photographer, documentary artist, and educator. She holds a BA in Sociology from Tufts University, a BFA in Photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. She has recently worked as a Visiting Lecturer in Photography at Duke University, Assistant Producer at Sandrock Recordings, and Multimedia Documentarian for the Friends of the Cumberland Trail.
Boillot's photography has been acquired for several permanent collections worldwide. Recent work was funded by the Annenberg Foundation of Los Angeles and the Riverview Foundation in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She is currently an Art Department faculty member at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, while continuing audio production work at Sandrock Recordings alongside her own photographic practice.
Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts collection, Duke University (Boillot thesis) Amanda Berg photographs, Duke University. (Part of "Where we live" project) Alex Harris photographs and papers, Duke University. (Director of "Where we live" project)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Agricultural laborers -- North Carolina
- Folk music -- Tennessee
- Folk musicians -- Portraits
- Migrant agricultural laborers -- North Carolina -- Pictorial works
- Migrant agricultural laborers -- Housing -- North Carolina
- Migrant laborers' families
- Musicians -- Tennessee -- Portraits
- Old-time music -- Tennessee
- Appalachian region -- Pictorial works
- North Carolina -- Social conditions
- North Carolina -- Pictorial works
- Tennessee -- Pictorial works
The Rachel Boillot photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2016.
Processed and encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, February 2016. Accession(s) described in this collection: 2016-0008.