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Guide to the Jay Turner Frey Seawell Photographs, 2011-2015

Summary

Collection contains 45 color and black-and-white photographs from Jay Turner Frey Seawell's projects "National Trust" and "The Mall." The two series document Washington, D.C. from 2011-2015. The series "National Trust" “explores the careful manufacturing of appearances in relation to power, politics, and media in the United States." "The Mall" is Seawell's response to "the mainstream narrative of American history that dots the landscape" of Washington, D.C. Seawell is a photographer based in Washington, D.C. Seawell was the winner of the 2016 ADA Award for Innovation in the Documentary Arts.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11278
Title
Jay Turner Frey Seawell Photographs
Date
2011-2015
Creator
Seawell, Jay Turner Frey
Extent
3.0 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Jay Turner Frey Seawell won the 2016 Archive of Documentary Arts Award for Innovation in Documentary Arts for his series "National Trust" and "The Mall." The ADA Collection Awards were established to diversify the ADA’s collection in order to better reflect the multitude of viewpoints and communities from which work is being made in the documentary arts today.

All images measure 12 x 18” on 16 x 22” paper and were printed with an Epson 9890 printer and Epson Ultrachrome HDR inks on Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta from digital RAW files.

Seawell provided the following abstract about his work:

National Trust

National Trust explores the careful manufacturing of appearances in relation to power, politics, and media in the United States. The subjects of National Trust range from historical structures to political spectacles and media culture, but they are all inextricably tied to appearances. Architectural forms recall the grandeur of GrecoRoman temples, and political rallies exist as meticulously staged theatre sets full of patriotic glitz. These carefully constructed façades can stand for different things, but in a sense they are intended to inspire trust among the citizenry. This trust has been shattered. I depict these surface appearances as existing amidst an atmosphere of mystery and darkness that recurs throughout the body of work, and this aesthetic mirrors an ongoing and profound erosion of trust in American society.

The Mall

In 2013 I moved to Washington, DC, the epicenter of historical commemoration in the United States. While photographing in the capital, I have responded to the mainstream narrative of American history that dots the landscape. Walking through the grounds of the National Mall, I wonder: How much strength does the official narrative about the United States hold for me? The Mall has become a space for confronting fears and anxieties about my country. In these pictures a contested space emerges, a place where idealism and beauty collide with darkness and disenchantment. The pictures come from a position of skepticism about the story that the capital wants to sell. It’s also a story from which I haven’t fully broken free.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Arranged into two series: National Trust and The Mall. Arrangement provided by creator.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

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.

warning Use & Permissions

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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Jay Turner Frey Seawell Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. National Trust, 2011-2013

20 Photographic Prints

All images measure 12 x 18” on 16 x 22” paper and were printed with an Epson 9890 printer and Epson Ultrachrome HDR inks on Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta from digital RAW files.

Lincoln Memorial I, 2011
Box 1
Folder 1
Curtain, 2012
Box 1
Folder 1
Reporter III, 2012
Box 1
Folder 1
Reporter II, 2012
Box 1
Folder 1
Two Men, 2012
Box 1
Folder 1
Supreme Court, 2013
Box 1
Folder 1
Members Only, 2013
Box 1
Folder 1
Statehouse Ruins, 2011
Box 1
Folder 1
Inauguration, 2013
Box 1
Folder 2
Reporter I, 2011
Box 1
Folder 2
News Studio, 2012
Box 1
Folder 2
Step Stool, 2012
Box 1
Folder 2
Wall Street, 2011
Box 1
Folder 2
Rally, 2012
Box 1
Folder 2
Arm, 2012
Box 1
Folder 2
Lincoln Memorial II, 2013
Box 1
Folder 2
Five Dollars, 2013
Box 1
Folder 2
Press Conference, 2013
Box 1
Folder 2
Window, 2013
Box 1
Folder 2
MCMXII, 2011
Box 1
Folder 2

2. The Mall, 2013-2015

25 Photographic Prints

All images measure 12 x 18” on 16 x 22” paper and were printed with an Epson 9890 printer and Epson Ultrachrome HDR inks on Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta from digital RAW files.

Shadow, 2013
Box 2
Folder 1
FDR2, 2014
Box 2
Folder 1
FDR1, 2014
Box 2
Folder 1
Soldiers, 2014
Box 2
Folder 1
Edlorado, 2015
Box 2
Folder 1
Darkness #19, 2014
Box 2
Folder 1
Double Shadow, 2015
Box 2
Folder 1
Posts, 2015
Box 2
Folder 1
Young Man, 2013
Box 2
Folder 1
Dollar Bill, 2014
Box 2
Folder 1
Loose Board, 2014
Box 2
Folder 1
Barbed Wire, 2013
Box 2
Folder 1
Structure, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Broken Light, 2014
Box 2
Folder 2
Fence, 2014
Box 2
Folder 2
Lightbox, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Study the Past, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Helicopters, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Diagonal Shadow, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Marble, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Darkness #34, 2014
Box 2
Folder 2
Monolith, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Dusk, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Darkness #39, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
Sky, 2015
Box 2
Folder 2
 

Historical Note

Jay Turner Frey Seawell is a photographer based in Washington, DC. He holds an MFA in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago. His photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States as well as internationally. He is a two-time nominee for the Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography. His photographs have appeared in publications including VICE Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. He was the winner of the 2016 ADA Award for Innovation in the Documentary Arts.


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Provenance

The Jay Turner Frey Seawell Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2016.

Processing Information

Processed by Katrina Martin, August 2016

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0230