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 Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers, Safe Harbor Press, 2005, was a collaboration between John Rosenthal and Christoper Brookhouse, a novelist and publisher of Safe Harbor Press. John emailed me and told me about the project and asked for my suggestions about whom to include. The whole book was done by email from photographs in my personal collection as well as from the other two photographers, Elizabeth Matheson and Rob Amberg.

Brookhouse emailed me frequently and at one time proposed a title which I told him was awful. He asked me to come up with a better one. I suggested that he had four photographers who each had their own signature style, working together in one orchestra. Why not call it Quartet? He took the title and he and his designer produced the book. For some reason he wanted color photographs from me, although I didn't think I was well known for my color images. 

We all received press proofs to correct any mistakes, and the book only took about two years to produce. Photographs made for Borrowed Time took me seventeen years.  I had to raise money to support the production from patrons, foundations and friends to a total of $24,000. They did send me to Minnesota for three days with another staff person so I could be on press, to correct any color variations and make sure the book was the best quality they could produce. I signed the book at my 25th reunion at Duke at the Gothic Book store sitting by Reynolds Price who wrote the introduction. It was one of the hilights of my life.

Quartet did not require any of us to contribute money, gave us several copies of the book and allowed us to buy more at a discount.


After a slide show of all the photographers' work, Caroline talked to someone from the audience.

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Caroline at Malaprop Book Store in Asheville, signing books.


The Mud Daubers made nests in tobacco barns, abandoned buildings and out of the way places where they would not be disturbed.The first one I saw was attached to a string hanging from a bare lightbulb in a house on my father's farm in Virginia. The delicate nature of the nest on a string made me look for them everywhere. This one was found in a burned down shack in Charlotte, NC.

Mud Dauber, Charlotte, NC    © 2000 Caroline Vaughan


One of the photographs in Quartet is of my father whom I photographed for decades. This image resulted in a moment when mother was sitting to his right. I saw his expression was different than usual and motioned for mother to quietly remove herself from the bench they sat on. I wanted to fill the space on the right with solid black. He looked as if he was looking into the far future, summing up his life in this moment. We made a connection that I had not felt before and gave it a name unlike other portraits of him or my parents together, recording their aging over the years, wearing the same clothes so that only their hands and faces would be the focus of the image.

Lost In Translation, NC    © 2002 Caroline Vaughan

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