Bio

Brian Brown is a documentary photographer and historian from Fitzgerald, Georgia, who currently resides in Coastal Georgia


His first passion, supported enthusiastically by his parents and numerous mentors, was the natural world, especially birds and native plants. Milton N. Hopkins, Jr., author of In One Place: The Natural History of a Georgia Farmer, was an early influence. He facilitated Brown’s first published work at age 16, observations on the birdlife of southern Georgia in The Oriole, the state ornithological journal. He fondly recalls time spent in the field with Roger Tory Peterson, author of A Field Guide to the Birds, in Monroe County in 1986. An essay on roadside wildflowers also appeared in the state botanical magazine, Tipularia.

While working on his high school newspaper he interviewed Erskine Caldwell, legendary author of Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre, spending an hour with him at a concrete picnic table under the longleaf pines at Fitzgerald’s Blue & Gray Park. It may be among Caldwell’s last interviews. Brown also served as a student panelist at the local library’s symposium featuring Caldwell and at another symposium with Lawrence Block, Stuart Woods, and Margaret Anne Barnes. At Young Harris College in 1989, he received the Danforth Bearse Memorial Poetry Prize for work in the Corn Creek Review.

He earned a BA Degree in History from Georgia College (Now Georgia College & State University) in 1992, after earlier studies at Young Harris College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.


He began casually photographing vernacular architecture in the countryside around his hometown in 1998, but remained focused on writing while doing various jobs.


By the time Brown was awarded a prestigious Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2008, his focus had already shifted. During that year he began formal production of an ongoing archive documenting the endangered architecture and culture of Georgia. A serendipitous private encounter with William Christenberry, before an opening for the iconic Southern artist at the Morris Museum in 2010, encouraged Brown to continue his work and expand his project into all corners of Georgia. Vanishing South Georgia and its spinoffs grew out of what Brown considered an urgent need, and that need persists to the present day, perhaps now more than ever.


He has served on the boards of the Blue & Gray Museum in Fitzgerald and the Cedar Grove Church Rescue Project in Tattnall County.

Selected Work: Photography

Government
Blue & Gray Museum
Bryan County Commission
Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
Development Authority of Talbot County
Northwest Georgia Regional Commission
United Nations

Non-Profits

Agnes Scott College
Altamaha Riverkeeper
Bonaventure Historical Society, Savannah
Center for a Better South
Chapman Cultural Center
Dickinson State University
Educational Travel Adventures
Georgia Conservancy
Georgia Music Foundation
Georgia Preservation Conference
Georgia Water Coalition
Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
Liberty County NAACP
Low Country Digital History Initiative
Smithsonian Institution
Southern Environmental Law Center
Trinity United Methodist Church (Hutchinson, Kansas)
University of Virginia Department of Drama – Ruth Caplin Theatre
Wild Oyster Project

Commissions
David Hackett Fischer
Fox Theatre Institute
J. Emory Thompson Interior Design (Tallahassee, Florida)
Security State Bank (McRae, Georgia)
Soil of the South Studios (Mark Neill, Producer)
University of Georgia School of Marine Sciences

Commercial
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Boddam Hockey & Lacrosse
Buzzfeed
Cheapflights (UK)
Cloverleaf Group
Delta Moon (Band)
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer (Greensboro, Georgia)
Fellowship Memphis
Hachette Book Group
History Channel
In-Rel Properties
Layton Construction
MEAG Power
Perry United Methodist Church
Prairie Anthem (Band)
Prometheus Productions
Security State Bank(McRae, Georgia)
Savannah Villas
Simon & Schuster
Soil of the South Studios (Mark Neill, Producer)
State Bank of Cochran
TruTV
University of South Carolina Press
UPS Store (Thomasville, Georgia)
W. W. Norton

Publicity
13 WMAZ, Macon: Feature with Suzanne Lawler
Daily Yonder
GPB News: Interview with Jeanne Bonner
GPB News: On Second Thought with Celeste Headlee
Georgia College Alumni News & Events
Georgia News Network: Georgia Focus with John Clark
The Bitter Southerner
Valdosta Today

Books/Digital Archives
99 Cemeteries to See Before You Die
African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Freedom
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog: History, Birth, Raising and Training
A History of Honey in Georgia and the Carolinas
Being Dead in South Carolina
Five African Muslims: Their Experience in the American South
Old Farmers Almanac for Kids
Varieties of Southern Religious
History: Essays in Honor of Donald G. Mathews

Periodicals
Anthropozoologica (France)
The Bonaventure Bulletin
Capper’s
Clementine
Current
(MEAG Power)
Daily Yonder
Garden & Gun
Golden Isles Magazine
Grit
Interrobang
La Posta: Journal of American Postal History
Lo Fidelity
Ottawa Citizen
(Canada)
Playbill
Red Booth Review

Red Line Blues
Savannah Magazine
Savannah Morning News
Shrimp, Collards & Grits
The Lord Craven Courier
The Rambler
Tulane Review
Unasylva

Television & Documentary
Ancient Aliens
Raised in the South of Normal
Saving Grace
Shifting Baselines
The Search for Lost Confederate Go
ld

Exhibitions, Presentations, Judging
“Ruins of Chocolate Plantation & Sapelo Island Landmarks” (Virtual Presentation), March 2021, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia
Make Wayne County Famous, Judge, Wayne County Industrial Development Authority, Jesup, Georgia, December 2018, in collaboration with the Georgia Film Office
Southern Icons, A to Z; Pat Conroy Literary Festival, University of South Carolina Beaufort, 15 October 2018
The Dawson Five: Crime, Race Relations in Georgia, and the Specter of Jim Crow, Georgia State University Library Exhibit, Curated by William Greer, May 2017
Southern Icons, A to Z; Wofford College, Spartanburg, 26 April 2017
Southern Icons, A to Z; College English Association Conference, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 7 April 2017
Southern Icons, A to Z; Opening, SlowExposures 2016, Whiskey Bonding Barn, Molena, Georgia, 15 September 2016
Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Judge, Arts Clayton Gallery, Jonesboro, Georgia, 1 October 2013
New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music (Smithsonian Institution), Colquitt County Arts Center, Moultrie, Georgia, October-December 2012
Picturing Our History – With Mike McCall & Troup Nightingale, Golden Isles Arts & Humanities Association, Ritz Theatre, Brunswick, Georgia, November-December 2012
Our Park Through Your Eyes, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Founder’s Day Exhibit, Plains, Georgia, 25 August 2012
Thomasville Landmarks, Thomasville Center for the Arts Library Gallery, January-March 2012
Vanishing South Georgia: A Presentation by Brian Brown, South Georgia College, Douglas, 2011

Awards
Georgia Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, 2020
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Photo Contest, First Prize 2012
Thomasville Landmarks Photo Contest, First Prize 2011

Collections & Installations
Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Island, Florida
Foxfire Museum, Mountain City, Georgia
International African-American Museum, Charleston, South Carolina (Opening 2022)
Security State Bank, McRae, Georgia
Telfair Museums, Savannah
University of Georgia School of Marine Sciences, Athens
Private Collections: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas

Selected Work: Writings & Television

History

Georgia Backroads Magazine
Georgia Journal
New Georgia Encyclopedia
The Civil War in Georgia: A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion
The Civil War Trust’s Guide to the Civil War Discovery Trail

Television

Georgia Backroads, Hosted by Larry Jon Wilson, Georgia Public Broadscasting, 1998

Poetry

Birmingham Arts Journal
Blue Collar Review
Breadcrumb Scabs
Chaffey Review
Chiron Review
Connecticut River Review
Delmarva Review
Feh!
Ganymede
Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal
Homestead Review
Inkwell
Keyhole
Louisiana Review
Powhatan Review
Red Hills Reader
Roanoke Review
Santa Clara Review
Slab
Snake Nation Review
Vain
Velvet Mafia
Windy City Times


Anthology
Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia, Texas Review Press, 2012

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