Inside the Portfolio Part 8


I don’t know what it is about stairs.

     An up or down passage….a leading from one place to another….the symmetry…the opposition…

     Or possibly, it’s simply a puerile fascination with patterns and contrasts….no philosophical meaning….

      This stairwell, and its’ twin, are in the main building at Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, KY.

     They were designed, as most of the buildings here, by 17 year old Micajah Burnett. Unusual for Shaker architecture, the spiral staircases are typically Shaker in one way…there are two, one for the gentlemen and one for the ladies. The Cherry handrails wind perfectly up, or down, 3 stories. How did they do that in 1834? Probably by following their credo,

“Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow”
       I mentioned, in my second post, back in March,  that I had gone to Daytona for the ‘500′. Out of all the sheet metal, and noise, and crowds, and celebrities…

    This turned out to be  one of my favorite photos from the weekend.

Again, why?

     Definitely NOT hand-made with a handrail that virtually vibrates with the piety of those who traversed its’ course over many years, but still there’s that pattern…and the ‘going up’ and ‘coming down’ dynamic potential.

     I must have photographed this at an exciting time in the race because it is hard to imagine that not one of the 175,000 people who were there can be seen.


One more…for now

     A sequence of steps in downtown Nashville. Photographed on Infrared film.  A bit ‘Mayan’ perhaps.

     So, up or down, climbing to the heights or descending into the depths, I suppose stairs are just one of those things that I like.

Here is one of my favorite adaptations to a set of stairs. 

~ by rkpowers on May 5, 2010.

2 Responses to “Inside the Portfolio Part 8”

  1. Brilliant Randy. But one question. Are Shakers allowed to use the internet? WTF are they doing with a website?


  2. Ha…As you are probably aware, there ARE no more Shakers..(hint, hint…separate stairs, doors, tables, dorms, for the ladies and gentlemen) The last Shaker died a few years ago WITHOUT a smile on her face!..All the existing villages are preserved by the government or private entities. AND, BTW…the Shakers INVENTED the internet…no, wait, they invented break-dancing


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