FotoFest 2022

Glimpses of the Past-
Bessie Dean Parr’s Photographs of Turn of the Century, Collierville, Tennessee.

August 20th through December 4th, 2022

FotoFest 2022, an exhibition of photography by Bessie Dean Parr.

Parr’s photos tell a story of the small historical town of Collierville, Tennessee, at the turn of the century. Photography had progressed so that the glass-plate negatives were easily used and marketed to women as an acceptable hobby for the women of the day. Parr’s studio was in the town square, above her husband’s dental office, which she turned it into a thriving business. Her photographs document the lives of everyday citizens in early 1900’s, small town America.

Stored and forgotten in open wooden ammunition boxes in a barn for almost 100 years, the glass-plate negatives, suffered extreme water damage and in many cases were completely gone, leaving just the blank glass-plates. Thanks to the careful cleaning and documenting by amateur photographer, Rick Broer, his wife, Jill, and eventually their daughter, Katherine Broer-Parr, this collection of photographs has been saved, giving us a glimpse of the past.