Photographer Walter Smalling to give talk at Woodlawn on Aug. 9

Posted Aug. 07, 2012, at 1:35 p.m.
Walter Smalling | Walter Smalling

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 4 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Woodlawn, 19 Black House Drive (Rte 172, Surry Rd.), Ellsworth, ME

For more information: Woodlawn; 667-8671;

ELLSWORTH: As part of its Summer Lecture Series, Woodlawn is pleased to have Walter Smalling give a talk entitled “Adventures of a Preservationists Photographer”, on Thursday, August 9, from 4-5 pm.

Walter Smalling is an architectural photographer who has specialized for the last thirty-five years in historic preservation, a niche which has taken him to the far reaches of the earth, as well as to his own neighborhood. After the United States Historic Preservation Act of 1966, suddenly the market for the skills of a photographer interested in preservation and architecture went viral and he worked for the U.S. National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey for ten years, crisscrossing the U.S. His travels took him from the Iditarod Dog Sled Trail in Alaska, to historic sugar cane plantations in the Virgin Islands, from historic districts right here in Maine to Spanish missions on the coast of California. From taking photographs for exhibitions to show off our historic restoration skills to the people of the Soviet Union, to photographs for Time Magazine, those years were a great adventure.

For the past twenty years, Smalling has worked for major architectural firms doing their own historic preservation work, also photographing modern skyscrapers and law offices in major cities. After doing two books for the National Park Service, one on restoration of Art Deco hotels in South Beach, Miami and another on all of the shaker villages in the United States, he was bitten by the “book bug” and has since taken the photographs for fifteen books, including one on tea, for which he traveled in Asia off and on for a year and a half.

This lecture will concentrate on large format black and white photos, including his most recent book, “Uncommon Vernacular, Historic House of Jefferson County, 1745-1845” which was done “Matthew Brady style” with a large camera and black cloth. He will show nearly a hundred images from his Park Service days, as well as the Shaker projects, the Jefferson County photos, and more.”

Woodlawn’s Summer Lectures Series is free of charge. However, donations to help Woodlawn develop more programs will be greatly appreciated. Please call Woodlawn at 667-8671 or email to reserve a seat.

Woodlawn is an educational, cultural, and recreational treasure for the people of Downeast ME. The main house is open for tours through October 31st. The public park is open year round, sunrise to sunset. 19 Black House Drive (Surry Road), Ellsworth, ME. For more information visit