Customs House, Tappahannock, Essex County, Virginia
Title from photographer's inventory.
Corresponding reference print in LOT 11841-29.
Credit line: Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Purchase; Frances Benjamin Johnston estate; 1953.
General information about the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.csas
Forms part of: Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (Library of Congress).
Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) created a collection of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS). This collection, created primarily in the 1930s, provides more than 7,100 images showing an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Johnston’s interest in both vernacular and high style structures resulted in vivid portrayals of the exteriors and interiors of houses, mills, and churches as well as mansions, plantations, and outbuildings. The survey began with a privately funded project to document the Chatham estate and nearby Fredericksburg and Old Falmouth, Virginia, in 1927-29. Johnston then dedicated herself to pursuing a larger project to help preserve historic buildings and inspire interest in American architectural history. The Carnegie Corporation became her primary financial supporter and provided six grants during the 1930s on condition that the negatives be deposited with the Library of Congress. The Library formally acquired the CSAS negatives from her estate in 1953, along with her extensive papers and approximately 20,000 other photographs.