Wednesday, January 09, 2002

The Photography of Ben Winans of Brookville, Ind., 1902-1926 - Indiana Historical Society – Jan. 9, 2002 – 3 1/2 stars

Rita Kohn gave a thumbs up review of the Winans photo collection book in the Oct. 11, 2001, issue, but after revisiting the exhibit four times, I thought that a review of the 34 (of nearly 3,000 shot by Winans) exhibited images themselves were worthy of accolades again. History is dictated by and large by authors with opinions and enduring images like those that Winans chose to shoot of modest, everyday Brookville, Ind., life where he spent his entire existence. Nestled in the rolling hills of Eastern Indiana, a stone's throw from Cincinnati and casket Mecca Batesville, Brookville was in its unassuming glory days when Winans snapped it up in its very ordinary grandeur without spectacle or staging. This is no-frills, turn of the century small-town Indiana life at its purest. With journalistic artistry and straight-forward distinguishing style, scenes of the 1913 flood and antiquated hard time rural lifestyles are captured in his crisp glass plate images thankfully accompanied with historical data about the captured event. It gave me quite a thrill to see my own great-grandfather's pharmacy (a stepping stone resident after leaving Kentucky and before moving to the Old Northside) in the backdrop of a most somber and humble Brookville funeral procession. Through Feb. 3, 2002; 317-232-1862, www.indiaiahistory.org. - Mary Lee Pappas

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