The Mountains are Calling: At Home in Western North Carolina (c.1790-1830)
About the Exhibit
The Mountains are Calling is a history-based photographic exhibit centered on North Carolina mountain culture from c.1790 to c. 1830 created at the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site in Weaverville, NC. In addition to photographs, the display originally included period artifacts and relevant facsimiles. This project was a collaboration between Dr. Brenda Scott and divisions of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), including the Vance Birthplace, the Western Office, and the North Carolina State Capitol.
Exhibit Opened at Zeb Vance Symposium
The exhibit opening coincided with an exciting collaborative, scholarly symposium. The Vance Birthplace partnered with the University of North Carolina at Asheville to host a symposium, Zebulon Vance Reconsidered in September 2017. This symposium explored the complicated legacy of Zebulon Vance and featured the distinguished Yale professor and scholar of American history, Dr. David Blight.
Exhibit Dates and Venues
The exhibit opened on September 15, 2017 at the Western Office in Asheville, NC, moved to the West Asheville Library in November, and then moved to the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh until April 2018.
The exhibit photographs are now available for display at other sites. Please use the contact link above if you are interested in hosting this exhibit.
A Message from Brenda Scott on Sponsorship
Although I was partnering with the DNCR, this exhibit was made possible by the generosity of others. I have the regular support of patrons, and generous support of the Dry Ridge Inn B&B who have provided housing while I worked on the exhibit, but in order to finance the printing, framing, and other exhibit production costs, I needed to raise additional funds.
I am very grateful to everyone who contributed and made it possible for me to share the unique and powerful story of The Mountains are Calling.
Isolation. As I was photographing the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site, my mind kept returning to that word. Today there are still elements of isolation; the spirit of place created by the immense mountains soaring up and out lends itself to this feeling. However, imagine the effect of this mountainous region on life before the interstate was completed – or before the railroad extended to the west. The area that became Buncombe County was extremely remote.
This separation from others aided in creating the stereotype of the uneducated southern Appalachian while, in actuality, creating an atmosphere that inspired education and independence - both physical and spiritual. Isolation engendered determination, persistence, courage, and inventiveness, and instilled integrity and a strong connection to the land.
This exhibit utilizes the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site to explore facets of life in the North Carolina mountains from c.1790 to c.1830.