Before 1190 Huff Road
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Project Type: Public installation
Site: Former Huff House
Exhibition: Atlanta Celebrates Photography
Funded by: Atlanta Celebrates Photography Public Art Award
Description: Atlanta Celebrates Photography has a rich history of temporary public art projects that reach out to audiences who may never go into traditional arts venues. Each year a different artist is commissioned to produce a project. Our featured artist for 2010 is Karen Brummund. Looking down the tracks of the Western & Atlantic Railway, industrial buildings testify to Atlanta’s past glory as “Terminus.” Inside these historic warehouses worked a community that fueled the forward thinking and booming economy of the early 20th century. Now obsolete, these buildings take on new identities.
Returning to their home off Marietta Street soon after the surrender of Atlanta in 1864, Sara Huff can’t recall a single country home or church that once destroyed was restored. A few months after escaping Sherman’s march down the tracks, young Sara describes their homestead as a “monument to solitude” in a “picture of desolation.” Built on the foundation of an 1830s log cabin, this pre-civil war home survived Sherman’s march, but did not survive the industrial enlightenment of the 1950s.
In this installation, a photograph of the Huff House is placed on a warehouse from the 1950s that stands on the earlier Huff family property. Over time, this historical photograph will deteriorate and fall off. As the two dimensional representation of the past intermingles with the three-dimensional building, the installation reveals imaginative, abstract, and fresh ways to see the story of this community. As we look forward to a prosperous and generous city, this temporary public artwork considers what is gained and lost through time.
“My 80 Years in Atlanta” by Sara Huff, published in 1937