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.
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.