Exhibition: Honky Tonk, Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981 by Henry Horenstein (2004)
Honky Tonk, Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981 by Henry Horenstein
March 26 - April 25, 2004

For the book Honky Tonk (published in 2003 by Chronicle Books), Henry Horenstein, the famed RISD professor and author of numerous instructional photo texts, unearthed little-known treasures from his archives: pictures of country western greats, legendary honky tonks, and the Grand Ole Opry. Selections from Honky Tonk toured the country making stops in Nashville, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, and Boston. The exhibition included portraits of Charlie Monroe, Doc Watson, Lester Flatt, Roy Acuff, Joe Val, Minnie Pearl, and Dolly Parton at key moments in their careers as well as those who made it all possible, the fans.

The images from this exhibition represented some of Horenstein’s earliest efforts from the 1970s—what has been called the “last great decade of country music”—where he got his start photographing for Cambridge’s Rounder Records and various Boston area arts and entertainment weeklies. The PRC show, organized by PRC Curator Leslie K. Brown, brought this Northeastern slant to the fore, featuring a specially tailored selection of 32 images, including area locales, such as the now-defunct Park Square Hillbilly Ranch, music parks in MA and NH, and stars who regularly appeared in our neck of the woods (Dolly Parton, Doc Watson, and Waylon Jennings among them). To experience the whole book, virtually, visit www.honkytonkbook.com.
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