Birdhouses

“Rob McDonald’s photographs are an affectionate response to the variety and beauty of birdhouses. The honesty and purity of his eye are to be savored.”WILLIAM CHRISTENBERY

“Rob McDonald has focused his Southerner’s affinity for home, the handmade, and the unique qualities of individual places on the many birdhouses he has photographed. These images remind us that no two spots on this earth are the same, that every house comes with its own set of spirits, and that everybody needs a shade tree.”DAVID WHARTON, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Univ. of Mississippi

Rob’s 22 photographs, taken across the Southeast from 2002 to 2006, were made with a plastic “toy” Holga camera (known for its soft focus and vignetted corners) and hand-printed and hand-toned in his darkroom. These images are preceded by an illuminating essay Rob has written about the project’s origins from a larger body of work entitled “Southern Places.”

Rob McDonald grew up in South Carolina and has lived in Lexington, Virginia since 1992. Self-taught as a photographer, he is a professor of English and has published books on Southern literature and culture; including Reading Erskine Caldwell (2006), and essays on photographers Jack Spencer and William Christenberry.

All text throughout the hand-sewn 60-page book is letterpress printed by hand on heavyweight, eggshell finish paper, and the images were lovingly and faithfully reproduced on an Indigo press. Each copy of this signed and numbered limited edition (135 copies) features a hand-toned, gelatin silver darkroom print enclosed in a translucent envelope inside the back cover. The covers feature a range of handmade papers, and different colored endshseets were used throughout the edition to further the uniqueness of each book.

The first 25 copies are presented in a clamshell box with a letterpress spine label. This deluxe edition also features a second, larger darkroom print not reproduced within the book.

Deluxe Edition: $295 (only three left)
Regular Edition: $145 (only a few remaining)