Coalfields Highlighted in New Mining Museum Exhibit
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is excited to announce a brand new temporary exhibition: Builder Levy: Appalachia USA. This exhibit comes to Leadville’s most-visited museum after a successful show at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The exhibition, on loan from the artist, Builder Levy, opens this Thursday, Sept. 8 with an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. and will be on view until January 2, 2017.
“Miners are among America’s unsung heroes,” says Builder, who has authored three books of his photographs, including Appalachia USA (2014), which will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop during this exhibition.
Appalachia USA is the culmination of Builder Levy’s efforts to photograph life and labor in the coalfields and rural mountain mining communities of the southeastern US.
Spanning four decades, these photographs record the artist’s exploration of this quintessentially American region, known both for picturesque splendor and historical poverty. Levy seeks to understand Appalachia’s crucial role as a provider of the nation’s energy and how that role has shaped communities and altered the landscape. Levy’s photographs challenge prejudices and point to a diverse people with a proud culture and a tradition of social engagement and struggle to improve their lives.
Born in 1942, Levy was introduced to the tradition of socially engaged documentary photography by lifelong mentor, Walter Rosenblum. From this heritage, Levy has learned the potential for art to connect viewers with the lives and concerns of others. In recognition of his work, Levy received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 to complete this documentary. The resulting body of work suggests the significant changes that these communities have undergone over two generations, and the profound impact coal mining continues to have on the lives and livelihoods of those living in the region.
About the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHF&M):
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is a monument to the memory of the men and women who pioneered the discovery, development and processing of our nation’s natural resources. Known as the “Smithsonian of the Rockies” and the “Premier Showcase of American Mining,” the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum came to be in 1987. Our museum houses 25,000 square feet of interactive and informative exhibits showcasing our collection of mining’s colorful history.