Honky Tonk Special Exhibit - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Honky Tonk Special Exhibit

Bristol, Va./Tenn. (September 29, 2020) – The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee has unveiled Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972-1981, its latest special exhibit on display through March 28, 2021.

“Henry Horenstein’s images capture performers like Dolly Parton, Doc Watson, Loretta Lynn, and Del McCoury, along with a host of iconic country and bluegrass stars throughout their careers,” said Dr. Rene Rodgers, the museum’s Head Curator. “With this exhibit, he explores the concept of honky tonk through the artists who made the music, the fans who followed them, and the venues that brought them to the stage.”

Honky Tonk is a collection of photographs taken by renowned photographer, filmmaker, teacher, and author Henry Horenstein, who once shot album covers for bluegrass label Rounder Records. Horenstein kept his camera handy in his off-time, capturing images from the honky tonk scene of the 1970s at locations ranging from family music parks and festivals to Nashivlle’s Tootsies Orchid Lounge and the Grand Ole Opry. Horenstein’s lively portraits of the honky tonk community preserve the scene where musicians and fans, cowboys and townies all converged to step out, strum, and strut their stuff.

Horenstein’s work is collected and exhibited internationally, and he has published over 30 books including several monographs of his own work such as Histories, Show, Honky Tonk, Animalia, Humans, Racing Days, Close Relations, and others. He also authored Black & White Photography, Digital Photography, and Beyond Basic Photography, used by hundreds of thousands of learning institutions as textbooks. His Shoot What You Love serves as both a memoir and personal history of photography over the past 50 years.

In recent years Horenstein has been making films: Preacher, Murray, Spoke, Partners, and Blitto Underground, which will premiere in 2021. He is a professor of photography at Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Boston.

A supplementary display related to honky tonk music, including A Selection of Hard Rock’s Country Music Memorabilia and several objects sourced from local collectors and other museums, will be included with the exhibit. Other programming related to the Honky Tonk special exhibit will be introduced at a later date.

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