The Work of Joe Webb: Appalachian Master of Rustic Architecture

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9780912330853: The Work of Joe Webb: Appalachian Master of Rustic Architecture
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During the 1920s and 1930s, builder Joe Webb constructed nearly three dozen log homes in the tiny Appalachian town of Highlands, North Carolina. The cabins were built without the aid of power tools--or architectural plans--and all of these exquisite structures are located within a five-mile radius.



In The Work of Joe Webb, photographer Reuben Cox captures the atmosphere and ambience of these idiosyncratic and important historic buildings. Using a large-format field camera, Cox has documented all of Webb's extant cabins. Beautifully presented in tritone, his images explore the lush, rhododendron-filled settings of Webb's constructions as well as the rich grain of their chestnut and pine posts and beams. Cox, a Highlands native, also includes an essay that places the work within a regional and historical context. Yet this is less an analytical taxonomy of Webb's cabins than an expansive meditation in which Cox employs his own art to understand another man's life work and the extraordinary qualities of that which is handmade and unique.

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About the Author:

Reuben Cox is a photographer who divides his time between Highlands, North Carolina, and New York City. Cox's work has appeared in several one-man shows and is represented by Bespoke Gallery. His photographs have also appeared in Blind Spot, Aperture, Doubletake, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, House and Garden, and other publications.

Review:

Handsomely recorded by the rich, atmospheric photographs of Reuben Cox, set amid lush rhododendron and mountain laurel, these rustic dwellings seem to capture the essence of summertime in the Mountain South.

(Wall Street Journal)

There's something hallucinatory about Webb's mixture of simple form and grandiloquent embellishment: balustrades of thick, twisted twigs minimizing thickets; staircases constructed with random patterns of interlocking mountain laurel or rhododendron branches. A graceful essay by Cox accompanies his images, correctly identifying Webb's work as the confluence of things that don't exist any longer in America: the once endless supply of natural resources and cheap, available land in an unspoiled mountain arcadia with even cheaper labor. . . . In this strangely compelling book, objective truths are felt rather than understood.

(Blueprint)

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Cox, Reuben
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Reuben Cox
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