Bellevue Art Museum

Bellevue, Washington

(425) 454-3322



The Last Country, Photographs from a Community-based Project by Dona Ann McAdams

April 24 - June 21, 1999


The Last Country was selected by Gloria Bornstein to accompany her concurrent retrospective exhibition.

The Last Country is an ongoing photographic project documenting the life of a small farming community in the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia. The community of Williamsburg (pop. 312) lies at the foot of Cold Knob in Greenbrier County, and is surrounded on three sides by a national forest. Many of the residents of Williamsburg are elderly farmers who live alone in isolated farm houses. The Last Country is an attempt to capture the dignity and enduring way of life of this aging and disappearing population. Dona McAdams helped the community build a darkroom and learn to take, develop and print photographs. The project served as a social focus for an aging and dwindling community; it energized individual members of the community; and it generated haunting, powerful images that both recall historical photographs and remain absolutely contemporary.

Dona Ann McAdams has photographed communities across the country for the past 25 years. A book of her photographs of performance artists, Caught in the Act, was published by Aperture Books in 1997.

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