Vanden Brink Captures 'Photographs of a Vanishing America'
By photographing the interiors and exteriors of magnificent homes, Brian Vanden Brink has built a reputation as one of America’s more sought-after architectural photographers. Nevertheless, he has always also been drawn to the mystery, sense of loss, and unexpected beauty found in abandoned architecture. Over the years, he has stolen time from photographing the homes of the affluent to focus on deserted homes and architectural ruins – and their relationships to the surrounding landscape. In Ruin: Photographs of A Vanishing America, Vanden Brink captures and illuminates in stunning images homes, churches, mills, bridges, grain elevators, storefronts, the 300-foot-tall chimney of a lead smelter, the pitch-black depths of an Air Force plutonium storage vault, and more. Through Vanden Brink’s lens, these structures become iconic, representing an America that was built and then abandoned. His photos capture the long, slow demise of structures that once held immense import and usefulness. With text by historic preservation and architecture expert Howard Mansfield, this collection of photos grants permanence to places that may soon vanish forever.
Brian Vanden Brink has been photographing architecture for almost three decades. His photographs grace the books At Home by the Sea: Houses Designed for Living at the Water’s Edge and At Home In Maine: Houses Designed to Fit the Land. His work has been widely featured in such publications as Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Metropolitan Home, Coastal Living, Cottage Living, La Vie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, Old House Journal, Custom Home, Yankee, and, Down East. He lives in Camden, Maine with his wife Kathleen.
Howard Mansfield has examined issues of preservation in five books, including In the Memory House, The Same Ax, Twice, and The Bones of the Earth. He has also contributed articles about to numerous publications including The New York Times, American Heritage, The Washington Post, and Historic Preservation. Mansfield’s work has been honored with the Gold Medal for Commentary for the City and Regional Magazine competition. He is on the advisory board of the Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture at Franklin Pierce College. He has been a keynote speaker at preservation conferences, and spoken to many historical societies, art museums, and colleges. He earned a dual degree from Syracuse University in Magazine Journalism and Honors in American Studies. He and his wife, the writer Sy Montgomery, live in Hancock, New Hampshire, in a 120-year-old house that they have left mostly alone.