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Guide to the Caroline Vaughan Photographs, 1977-1992

Summary

Collection comprises 63 exhibit-quality black-and-white photographic portraits of Durham, North Carolina citizens of all races, ages, genders, and sexual orientations, taken from 1989 to 1992 for a Center for Documentary Studies project. Subjects include activists, writers, older people, working class men, friends, couples, and families. Many of the individuals were alumni of Duke University. Also includes several prints and a brochure from an exhibit entitled "Home Ground," featuring Vaughan's family and landscapes from two family farms, 1977-1987. Formats include gelatin silver, Polaroids (some in color), and four palladium/plantinotype prints, along with a hand-pigmented, textured print. The photographs range in size from about 8 3/8 x 10 3/4 inches to 11x14 inches and are all matted, captioned, and signed. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11510
Title
Caroline Vaughan photographs
Date
1977-1992
Creator
Vaughan, Caroline
Extent
6 Linear Feet, 5 boxes; 64 items, 63 prints; one brochure
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Content Description

Collection chiefly comprises 63 exhibit-quality black-and-white photographic portraits of Durham, North Carolina citizens of all races, ages, genders, and sexual orientations, taken by Durham photographer Caroline Vaughan from 1989 to 1992 for a Center for Documentary Studies project. Subjects include activists, writers, older people, working class men, gay and straight couples, friends, and families, Many of the individuals were alumni of Duke University who were involved in sixties activism and remained in the area.

There are several photographers featured in the portraits whose work is also in the Rubenstein Library collections: Peter Goin, Alex Harris, Jeeva Rajgopaul, and Margaret Sartor.

Also includes a smaller series of black-and-white palladium/platinotype prints and a bifold brochure from a Duke University exhibit entitled "Home Ground." These prints feature Vaughan's family members posed in the studio and at two family farms in Oxford, N.C. and News Ferry, Virginia, taken from 1977 to 1987 and printed in 1992 and 1993.

The photographs were taken with large-format cameras and an instant camera (Polaroid), and printed and toned by Vaughan chiefly from 1990 to 1993. Formats include gelatin silver, Polaroids (some in color), and palladium/plantinotype prints, along with one hand-pigmented, textured print. The prints range in size from about 8 3/8 x 10 3/4 inches to 11 x 14 inches and are printed on a variety of papers. Some of the palladium prints feature a circular image format. With a few exceptions, the prints are signed, dated, and matted. Titles were taken from original captions inscribed by the photographer on the prints or mats. Some titles for some uncaptioned prints were taken from the photographer's online gallery. Many prints have data on exposure times, shutter, speed, and other data marked on the back.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Arranged in two series: Portraits and Home Ground.

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. Images may only be used for educational, non-commercial purposes; any other use and distribution requires the photographer's written permission.

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], Caroline Vaughan photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Portraits, 1989-1992

59 prints, 4 boxes, Gelatin silver and instant camera prints

The 59 portraits in this series belong to a project undertaken by Caroline Vaughan in 1990 to take a series of portraits of citizens of Durham, North Carolina, emphasizing their commonalities, as well as their diversity in ages, socio-economic backgrounds, race, and sexual orientation. The project was sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies and by Polaroid.

Subjects include male and female activists, artists, construction workers, firefighters, welders, photographers, business owners, writers, friends, older people, gay and straight couples, parents and children. They are photographed singly as well as in pairs, sometimes in a trio, typically as half or full standing standing portraits rather than close-ups. Many of the subjects are Duke alumni. One male couple appears in several prints, clothed and nude.

There are several photographers in the portraits whose own work is part of the Rubenstein Library Archive of Documentary Arts collections: Peter Goin, Alex Harris, Margaret Sartor, and Jeeva Rajgopaul. Also present is a portrait of author Reynolds Price with Nick Shelley.

The photographs are all traditional darkroom gelatin silver or instant Polaroid prints, taken from 1989 to 1992. There are a few Polaroids in color. All are signed, dated, and matted, and titles have been taken from handwritten captions on the prints. A few were found to be untitled. In some cases their titles were taken from the photographer's online gallery. Also, if the individuals in the portraits were known from other images, their names were added by library staff in a note. Most prints are marked on the backs with exposure times, shutter speeds, and other data.

Patsy Bailey, 1991
(11 x 11 3/8 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0001
Nathan Marvin Bishop [IV], 1990
(11 x 12 1/2 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0002
Nat Blevins, 1990
(10 x 7 7/8 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0003
Nat and AG Wood, 1990
(11 x 11 3/4 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0004
Nat Blevins, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0005
Anne Bloom and her mother, 1992
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0006
William Holdorf, 1992
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0007
Jane and Joan Brannon, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0008
R.L. Eurquhart, 1990
(10 1/4 x 11 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0009
James Fallon and David Lloyd, 1990
(11 x 12 3/8 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0010
Harold and Anne Frazier, 1990
(11 x 10 7/8 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0011
Harold and Anne Frazier, 1990
(11 x 10 7/8 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0012
Anton Foster and Bobby Ellwood Jones, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0013
Henry Caudell [?] and Erica, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0014
Tommy Ray Gilbert, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)

Black-and-white version of color Polaroids, P-0051 and 0052.

Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0015
Peter Goin, Kami [?], and Dana, 1992
(11 x 11 inches)

Photographer. Collection of his photographs are also in the Rubenstein Library.

Box 1
Image RL.11510-P-0016
Alex Harris, Margaret Sartor, and Will, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0017
Jonathan Hexner, 1990
(11 x 10 1/2 inches)

Color pigmented version, P-0054.

Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0018
Alexander Koplowitz, Sidra Makhman, 1991
(11 x 10 7/8 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0019
Robert McDonald, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0020
Lavelle McNeil and Pat Heath, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0021
John and Lee Murray, 1990
(11 x 14 inches)

The copyright date on the print back is 1990. On the artist's website, this image is given the title "Murray brothers, 1980."

Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0022
Roylee and Barbara Duvall, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0023
Alexander Koplowitz, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0024
Alexander Koplowitz, 1990
(11 x 14 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0025
Tom and Merle, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0026
Phillip Pearson and Chuck, 1991
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0027
Christine Poe, Clinton Poe, 1990
(11 7/8 x 9 1/4 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0028
Charles Powers and Willie Cherry, 1990
(9 3/4 x 13 1/4 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0029
Steve and Andrew Previn [?], 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 2
Image RL.11510-P-0030
Jeeva Rajgopaul, 1990
(14 x 10 7/8 inches)

Photographer; photographs also in the Rubenstein Library.

Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0031
Reynolds Price, Nick Shelley, 1990
(10 x 12 3/4 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0032
No known title, circa 1990
(10 x 8 inches)

From another image on artist's online portfolio, appears to be Andrea Selch, poet, with father and mother. Polaroid version, P-0058.

Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0033
Cathy and Marcus Shell, 1990
(9 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0034
Sue Snedham [?], 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0035
No known title, 1990
(11 x 14 inches)

Black man in military camouflage.

Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0036
Erica and Carlton Van Court, 1991
(9 7/8 x 11 3/4 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0037
Vega Metals, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)

Three men posing with tools. Artist's online portfolio gives title as: "Francis Vega, Neal Carson, Vega Metals, 1990."

Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0038
Tim P. [?] Walker, 1990
(8 x 10 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0039
Billy Williams and Claude Reams, 1990
(11 x 14 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0040
Claude Reams, 1990
(14 x 10 7/8 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0041
Billy L. Williams, 1990
(14 x 11 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0042
Jonathan Williams and Thomas Meyer, 1991
(13 x 10 3/8 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0043
Jonathan William, Tom Meyer, 1991
(10 1/8 x 12 3/4 inches)
Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0044
No known title, circa 1990
(8 x 10 inches)

Young construction worker, shirtless, with helmet

Box 3
Image RL.11510-P-0045
A.G. and Nat, 1989
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0046
Marvin Bishop, Durham Blueprinters, 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0047
A.G. and Nat, 1989
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0048
Ray, 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format. Caption inside of mat: "Raymond Lee Eurquhart, Maintenance Mechanic I, age 42, August 9, 1990."

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0049
Harry and Anne Frazier, 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0050
No known title [Tommy Ray Gilbert], circa 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches)

Color Polaroid format. Painter. Black-and-white 11x14 version in collection, P-0015

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0051
Tommy Ray Gilbert, 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches)

Color Polaroid format. Slightly different version from P-0051. Black-and-white 11x14 version in collection, P-0015.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0052
Tommy Ray Gilbert, 1990
(10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches)

Color Polaroid format. Vertical orientation. Same subject, black-and-white 11x14 version, P-0015.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0053
Jonathan Hexner, 1991
(11 1/4 x 11 inches)

Color pigment added to photographic image on deckle-edge thick paper. Version of P-0018.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0054
Lee Murray and John Murray, 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format. Caption inside of mat: "Lee Murray and John Murray, August 9, 1990, Durham Brazing and Welding Co., twins, age 60."

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0055
Lee and John Murray, 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format. Caption inside of mat: "August 9, 1990, Lee and John Murray, age 60, metal fabricator and welder, Durham Brazing and Welding Co."

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0056
Claude Reams, 1990
(10 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0057
No known title, circa 1990
(10 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches)

Black-and-white Polaroid format, version of P-0033. From another image on artist's online portfolio, appears to be Andrea Selch, poet, with father and mother.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0058
No known title [Claude Reams and Billy Williams], circa 1990
(8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches)

Color Polaroid format. Same subjects as in black-and-white version, P-0040.

Box 4
Image RL.11510-P-0059

2. Home Ground, 1977-1987

These four black-and-white photographs of Vaughan's family, including two taken on family farms in Oxford, N.C., and News Ferry, Virginia, were taken from 1977 to 1987 and were printed by Vaughan in 1992 and 1993. At least three of the images formed part of a 1986 solo exhibit by Vaughan entitled "Home Ground," held at the Duke Institute of the Arts, Durham, North Carolina. A fourth bears the date 1987 and may not have been in the exhibit.

Three of these photographs are palladium prints, and a fourth is labeled as a platinotype print, which is very closely related to the palladium process.

William and Mary Vaughan, 1985
(10 7/8 x 12 7/8 inches)

Palladium print.

Box 5
Image RL.11510-P-0060
Son Vaughan, News Ferry, Virginia, 1982
(9 1/2 x 13 inches)

According to online portfolio title, this print was taken in News Ferry, Virginia in 1982. Format is a palladium print with a circular format, printed in 1993. Original print was exhibited in show, "Home Ground," Duke University Institute of the Arts, 1986.

Box 5
Image RL.11510-P-0061
Mother, her sister, 1987
(10 1/4 x 13 5/8 inches)

Palladium print of Vaughan's mother and aunt. Printed in 1993.

Box 5
Image RL.11510-P-0062
Oxford farm, N.C., 1977
(11 x 12 1/8 inches)

Vaughan's earliest image in the collection, this print has a circular format is labeled "platinotype" on back of print, and was printed by Vaughan in 1992. Original print may have been palladium process, and was exhibited in show, "Home Ground," Duke University Institute of the Arts, 1986.

Box 5
Image RL.11510-P-0063
Bifold mailing brochure: "Home Ground, an exhibition of palladium prints by Caroline Vaughan," Duke Institute of the Arts, Durham, North Carolina, 1986

Cover image is "Son Vaughan." Print is in collection, P-0061.

Box 5
 

Historical Note

Caroline Vaughan was born in 1949 in Durham, North Carolina. After studying photography with John Menapace, she broadened her experience at the Penland School of Crafts, and studied with Minor White at MIT in 1972. She traveled to San Francisco to meet another influential photographer, Imogen Cunningham, and struck up a long-term friendship with her. In 1977, Vaughan was named one of 43 promising young photographers listed in Time-Life's Photography Year 1977. A traditional darkroom printer, she specializes in special formats such as instant camera and palladium prints, and has recently explored digital photography.

In addition to her photographic career, Vaughan has worked as a photography instructor, darkroom technician, and photographer at Duke University.

She was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council to continue her work with palladium prints, a selection of which she exhibited at Duke in 1986 in a solo show entitled "Home Ground." In 1990 she received funding from Duke's Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) and from Polaroid to produce the portraits of Durham citizens featured in this collection. In the mid-2000s, she re-photographed many of the same individuals, exhibiting their new portraits in a Center for Documentary Studies show, "Personal Disruptions," in 2006.

Her work continues to be exhibited across the United States in solo and group shows, and her prints are part of the collections of the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh and other museum and private collections. A selection of her work has been published by Duke University Press in 1986 as "Borrowed Time." Vaughan's work also appears in "Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers," Safe Harbor Press, 2005.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Caroline Vaughan photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase and gift in 1992 and 1993.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, October 2017.

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 1993-0107.