“Hidden in Plain Sight”: Jack Anderson’s Nighttime Photos Explore Neglected Historical Sites in Durham

1110 Main St. McPherson's Hospital. Photograph by Jack Anderson

“1110 Main St.: McPherson Hospital.” Photograph by Jack Anderson

Photographer MJ Sharp, a Center for Documentary Studies instructor, did an independent study with undergraduate student Jack Anderson that culminated in his exhibition of nighttime black-and-white photographs, Hidden in Plain Sight: Architectural Reminders of Durham’s Vital Past. Sharp explores the world at night in her work, as does Anderson. “We talk like two old crusty sailors about shooting at night,” says Sharp,” and I’ve been out on the sea just a little bit longer.”

Hidden in Plain Sight: Architectural Reminders of Durham’s Vital Past
Monday, May 6: Exhibit opens
Tuesday, May 14, 6 p.m.: Opening reception

Through August 31, 2013 | Porch Gallery
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

Anderson says that he “began this project with the goal of documenting the process of gentrification in the city, but it has a evolved into a more targeted examination of particularly significant historical sites in Durham that have declined through neglect or abandonment. These places deserve more respect than they have been given; this exhibition attempts to help us remember them. The homes, workplaces, schools, and hospitals that we have forgotten are highlighted here in order to recall both the beauty they once had and the function they once served.”

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    4 Responses to ““Hidden in Plain Sight”: Jack Anderson’s Nighttime Photos Explore Neglected Historical Sites in Durham”

    1. W. Banks Anderson, Jr. says:

      I grew up in the Beverly Apartments next to Dr. Mac’s hospital where my father practiced EENT before WWII. Before the later addition, there was a side entrance by a driveway on the apartment side of the hospital and clinic that was used by my Dad as he walked back and forth to work. The apartment building faced Watts Street and my brother Everett and I walked back and forth to the Watts Street School along that street for six years. There was a Piggly Wiggly grocery store on the other side of Watts along Main so my mother did not need to buy much gasoline.

    2. Liz says:

      Many thanks for sharing some of your memories about McPherson Hospital and an earlier version of Durham!

    3. Linda Ragland says:

      Yes I remember being diagnosed there at McPherson Hospital when I was a little girl for having sinus problems. I lived then out on rural Hwy 98. It was an area then that had a lot of woods but now a well developed neighborhood. The trip to the ENT Speiclist was an uncertain adventure since my mom was sort of a “home nurse” but not a nurse by profession. Going to any hospital was something me and my siblings very rarely did. The fact that I was seen and treated in the McPherson Hospital setting will always leave memories due to the fact that I thought a hospital was a scary place to go. At that time the building was a well maintained site on that part of Main Street. Even though I had leary thoughts of the hospital visit then, looking back on it now I think the beautiful building made me feel I was going somewhere special.

    4. Publishing-Intern says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this memory to help keep the McPherson Hospital alive in some way. We’ll pass it along to the photographer, Jack Anderson.

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