Cover image for The face of Appalachia : portraits from the mountain farm
The face of Appalachia : portraits from the mountain farm
Barnwell, Tim, 1955-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2003]

Physical Description:
157 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F217.A65 B38 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Life in the steep hills of Appalachia has changed more in the last twenty years than in the previous two hundred. Long a region of farmers, burley tobacco, cattle, copious gardens, durable traditions, and hard-working families, it has become a region of retirees, developers, young urban escapees, and new highways. Aware of the transformation, Tim Barnwell set out to document the lives of the people in the land he grew up in. His sensitive portraits, landscapes, and farm scenes, and his penetrating oral histories give us an entrée into a life characterized by straightforward joys, hardships, isolation, and independence. It is a way of life we will not see again.

Author Notes

Tim Barnwell's images have appeared in dozens of magazines, including Time and Newsweek, and are in many permanent collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the High Museum in Atlanta. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

With its humble homes and poor people, Appalachia often receives photographic attention honoring its rhythms and place in American life. This work lovingly collects 20 years of such work from Barnwell, an Asheville, NC-based photographer with great technical talents and a resume of photos in popular magazines. Unfortunately, the book's power is diminished through its staged shots of individuals, families, and friends. It seems like a sanitized photo album, intent on transmitting the author's message that within poverty lie dignity and order. But we know that and might like to learn what Appalachia, pockmarked by Third World levels of poverty, looks like when people are carrying out tasks, not aiming their gaze at a camera. The best images are the landscapes; even in black and white, they show a timeless place of small hills, meandering roads, barns, shacks, homes, and villages. Recommended where interest in the region is high.-David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.