Untitled [Barn, North elevation, North of Aurelia, Cherokee County, Iowa]

Copyright Matt Niebuhr 2006 - All rights reserved

Matt Niebuhr

Works available for purchase: shop.mattniebuhr.com


(What life is like....)


North of Aurelia, along county road about 4 miles north of hi-way 3, a barn.


All by itself.


A vestige of another time and another farmstead, slowly vanishing from the Iowa Landscape. I've made it a concern of mine now to look closely for these old structures - most are relatively insignificant examples of rural utility in action, but in the aggregate become an alarming signal of an end of an era. Gone (or slowly vanishing) are the old wood barns and corn cribs. Their usefulness - that rural utility - is disappearing, replaced by modern steel structures - faster, bigger, cheaper... and soulless.


(2) AP - 2006

Image size 11"x17"

Printed on 13" x 19" Epson watercolor paper - radiant white

Epson Stylus Photo R1800


A special thanks to FILE magazine for presenting a selection seen here from Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility.


Published in Iowa Architect: Vernacular Issue, Spring 2012 - Article: "Language of the Land" pg 30-35.


More work here: www.mattniebuhr.com


Another sort of special thanks to Teresa Jordan - Artist and Author who happened across this image - and helped me see what I've been feeling through her writing and poetry. Thanks Teresa - I'm enjoying your stories in Riding the White Horse Home:

A Western Family Album

by Teresa Jordan


Location [?]

  • Marty Coleman 9y

    I like this one best, the space around the barn is so important here. It makes it look stately and solid. Wonderful image!
  • Matt Niebuhr 9y

    Digihuman... I agree with you... I was looking for a good foreground with the other ones but it seems this image lets the barn be the "big figure". Thanks for your comment and comparisons.
  • Gregory Byerline 9y

    Excellent work. The square crop adds to this capture's mystique that the rectangular versions are wanting of.
  • Jer*ry 9y

    I will second the comments of digihuman & spincycle, and add that -- just like Eric Sloane -- you're helping preserve this country's Age of Barns.
  • ken mccown 9y

    yes, it's a good one!
  • chrisjtse 9y

    great shot, so atmospheric.
  • Matt Niebuhr 9y

    Thanks for commenting..

    Spin: I appreciate your thoughts about the decision to crop this image square - I think it just works better to convey what caught my eye... something about how these structures have such a presence on the landscape. Maybe it's the way the barn just "sits" in the image - sort of unpretentious and all.

    The day was chilly with fog... warm for January, but with such even and soft lighting - so even - I do think that contributes to the mood as well.
  • Matt Niebuhr 9y

    Ghb624... I just went to search a little on Eric Sloane - interesting person. I think I've seen the "Age of Barns" before - nice illustrations - I especially like the tools. Thanks for the note.
  • fernando montiel klint 9y

    remeinds me so much to the Becker german photography, keep doing
  • Ted Fines 9y

    .very nice.
  • Mim Eisenberg 9y

    Thanks for adding this lovely shot to the Interestingness pool.
  • maurice flower 9y

    It has soul.
  • Matt Niebuhr 9y

    To M.

    the barn does have soul. I want to name the barn... but perhaps being nameless is a part of its soul.
  • Lynn (Gracie's mom) 9y

    Stunning photo.
  • Serena Matthews 8y

    This is gorgeous, such soft warm colors and incredible, amazing detail.
  • terese w 8y

  • David Sebben 6y

    A stark setting, but pleasing to the eye.
  • Matt Niebuhr 6y

    thanks for the comment "nebbes"
  • Matt Niebuhr 5y

    Hi Lucas, the actual location is three miles north of highway3 and just east off M21. hopefully, it's still standing?
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