Porch Dogs by Nell Dickerson

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Where Ms. Dickerson excels is in her deft manipulation of the props she finds on and around the porches. She captures comfortable well-worn cane chairs, antique guns, ornate watering cans, even underwear.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Porch Dogs combines fine-art portraits of man’s best friend with beautiful architectural documentation of the Southern porch.

Nell Dickerson fondly recalls childhood nights on the sleeping porch of her grandparents’ Mississippi Delta home—the sounds of katydids, cicadas, and tree frogs, the merciful breeze from the overhead fan. But during the heat of the day, the family sought refuge indoors, leaving the dog to his lonely vigil. “I felt like he understood that the porch was the gateway between inside and outside and that it was his duty to keep sentry there in case someone wanted to pass,” she recalls.

Years later, Dickerson noticed that few new homes had porches, their residents increasingly dependent on air conditioning. “We Southerners used to be social,” she notes. “Now, we risk losing what makes us Southern: porch sitting. But there is hope. Our dogs maintain the tradition.”

Dickerson weaves her passion for historic preservation—first detailed in her 2011 book, Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation—into a fun, uplifting photographic collection that perfectly captures a Southern tradition. Dickerson’s incomparable photographs introduce an unforgettable variety of “house dogs,” “yard dogs,” “shop dogs,” “swing dogs,” “bench dogs,” “top dogs,” “under dogs,” and “dock dogs.”

Whether they’re fans of photography or preservation, high art or humble canines, readers won’t be able to keep from smiling at the array of delightful portraits that reflect a former cultural pastime.
 

About Nell Dickerson

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Shelby Foote (deceased) was the acclaimed author of THE CIVIL WAR, an epic history of the conflict. He also wrote award-winning fiction. Foote became an overnight celebrity when documentarian Ken Burns featured him extensively in Burns' series, THE CIVIL WAR. Nell Dickerson is an acclaimed photographer and architect who has worked on large-grant projects involving preservation issues.
 
Published March 18, 2013 by John F. Blair, Publisher. 112 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Declan O'Neill on Apr 02 2013

Where Ms. Dickerson excels is in her deft manipulation of the props she finds on and around the porches. She captures comfortable well-worn cane chairs, antique guns, ornate watering cans, even underwear.

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