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“An Eye for Mullet”: Photographs by Charles A. Farrell / Text by David S. Cecelski

Our Fall 2014 Art @ the Center exhibit, co-sponsored by UNC Press and the Department of American Studies, features photographs from a seasonal mullet fishing camp at Brown’s Island in Onslow County, North Carolina. The photographs were taken in 1938 by Charles A. Farrell, to be published in a book that never quite made it to press. However, they will (finally!) appear in the Fall 2014 issue of Southern Cultures as an annotated photo essay by historian David S. Cecelski, who is working to bring a collection of Farrell’s photos to publication with UNC Press. “Our world today is so different than that of only a century ago,” writes Cecelski, “that few people can recognize even the most basic aspects of daily life and labor as seen in [these] photographs.” Yet the black-and-white images reveal “the changing nature of our relationship to the ocean and seashore.” You can listen to voices and stories from the Southern Oral History Program‘s “Coastal Carolina” series here.

Fish sliderJoin us for the exhibit’s opening reception on Friday, September 12, when we will enjoy sustainable Carolina seafood from Ricky Moore’s Saltbox Seafood Joint as well as live music on the porch by Wayne Martin & Friends. The reception is free and open to the public, but $20 gets you “Fish and an Ish”: a plate of Ricky’s delicious seafood and the special water issue of Southern Cultures. To purchase tickets, click here.

  1. Ray Walser #

    As a descendent of the Farrell clan [my paternal grandmother Bernice Walser nee Farrell was Charles Farrell’s sister], I am pleased to see that recognition of the high quality of the work done by Charles Farrell and his capacity to capture the historic moment, large and small, is being recognized. Hearty congratulations!

    August 27, 2014
  2. Charles Plambeck #

    This should be fascinating. Thank you for redicovering Charles Anderson Farrell. Farrell also shot the photos for Tobe, an important book in the social history of NC which is currently being researched by Dr. Benjamin Filene of UNCG. Farrell’s father, Andrew Jackson Farrell, was also a North Carolina photographer, who notably photographed the camel for the artwork for R.J.Reynold’s Camel brand.

    September 5, 2014

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