Monday, June 29, 2009

Photographer launches book on Joe Webb cabins in Highlands

As noted in the Asheville Citizen-Times, author and photographer Reuben Cox launched his new book THE WORK OF JOE WEBB in a number of locations in western North Carolina this weekend, including Asheville, Sylva, and his hometown of Highlands, North Carolina. The book is an artist's exploration of the architectural legacy left by cabin builder Joe Webb, who worked in the early decades of the twentieth century. The photographs, made with a large-format view camera and printed using exposure to the sun and what may be the last commercially manufactured printing out paper in existence, involve technologies that date back to Joe Webb's era. The resulting images offer rich, beautifully textured glimpses of these unusual structures and spaces.

Joe Webb lived and worked in Highlands, and a number of people who attended Thursday’s book event at the newly opened Bascom Center for the Arts or Saturday’s signing at Cyrano’s Bookstore either own or are in some way connected to a Joe Webb cabin. Joe Webb’s grand-niece attended Thursday and told Cox a few new stories about her builder relative. Others remembered living in particular structures when they were young, or related how their families had sold cabins decades ago for modest amounts relative to the high value of the properties today. Cox’s former art teachers, math teachers, and bus drivers also came out to celebrate the publication of the project.