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Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972-1981

September 29 – March 28, 2021
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
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Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972-1981!
Now Open at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum


Honky Tonkis a collection of photographstaken by renowned photographer, filmmaker, teacher, and authorHenry 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 Nashville'sTootsies Orchid Lounge and the Grand Ole Opry. Horenstein's lively portraits of the honky tonk community preserve the scene where musicians, fans, cowboys, and townies all converged to step out, strum, and strut their stuff.

Henry Horenstein'simages capture performers like Dolly Parton, Doc Watson, Loretta Lynn, and Del McCoury, along with a host of other iconic country and bluegrass stars throughout their careers. With thisexhibit, 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.

Horenstein's work is collected and exhibited internationally, and he has published several monographs of his own work such asHistories, Show, Honky Tonk, Animalia, Humans, Racing Days, Close Relations, and others. He also authoredBlack & White Photography, Digital Photography, andBeyond Basic Photography, used bylearning institutions as textbooks. HisShoot What You Loveserves as both a memoir and personal history of photography over the past 50 years.

A supplementary display related to honky tonk music, includingA Selection of Hard Rock’s Country Music Memorabiliaand several objects sourced from local collectors andother museums, will be included with the exhibit. Other programming related to theHonky Tonkspecial exhibit will be introduced at a later date.

Honky Tonkwill be on display through March 28, 2021.