Paul Kwilecki Photographs

Photographs depicting life in Bainbridge, Georgia from 1960-2001, and several manuscripts by the photographer. More »

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Elberta Crate and Box Co., 1982 Jan. kwlph090010450
View the highlight item: Mother and son waiting outside court room, 1981...
Mother and son waiting outside court room, 1981... kwlph010010010
View the highlight item: Modern architecture, 1980 Sept. (Understandings)
Modern architecture, 1980 Sept. (Understandings) kwlph030010530
View the highlight item: Interior of Sunday School, Pilgrim Rest A.M.E....
Interior of Sunday School, Pilgrim Rest A.M.E.... kwlph070010170
View the highlight item: Horace Battles at Elberta Crate Co., 1981 Dec.
Horace Battles at Elberta Crate Co., 1981 Dec. kwlph110010390

About the Digital Collection

Paul Kwilecki’s Photograph Collection contains black and white prints made in and around the town of Bainbridge, Georgia from 1960-2008. A self-taught photographer, Kwilecki honed his craft by photographing the broad spectrum of daily life manifested in Bainbridge and the rural areas of Decatur County. From the Shade Tobacco workers in the fields to the tombstones in the cemeteries and the emotional dramas played out in the Decatur County Courthouse, Kwilecki documented everything in an effort to capture and understand humanity. The collection of primarily 11x14 inch prints is organized into subject areas including: agriculture, architecture, county fairs, the Flint River, industry, neighborhoods, the Prom, religious life, shoppers, social events, stores, Willis Park and, workers.

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John Mishler T’09 in honor of Nathaniel Scott Ries

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Paul Kwilecki photographs and papers circa 1910s, 1960-2008

Collection #RL.00790 | 42 Linear Feet; 56 boxes; 1 oversize folder

Collection comprises over 500 black-and-white photographic prints, along with negatives, contact sheets, photographer's notes, journals, writings, speeches, correspondence related to photography, and printed material, totaling over 9000 items. Kwilecki's photographic work documents rural and small-town life in and around Bainbridge, Decatur County, Georgia, an undertaking he began as a self-taught photographer in 1960 and continued until his death in 2009. Subjects include local landscapes, tobacco workers, county fairs, hog slaughtering, cemeteries, churches, courthouses, recreation on the Flint River, local industry, shoppers, downtowns, and house porches and interiors. The themes of race relations and religious life predominate. Many of Kwilecki's subjects come from the African American community in Decatur County. Significant correspondents in the manuscripts series include photographers Alex Harris and David Vestal; the collection includes a small set of Vestal photographs. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

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