Matthew Albritton, Assistant Professor at Northern Kentucky University, has always sought out far away lands, exploring places like Scotland, Cuba, Japan and Hawaii, according to his website. Well liked by students and highly respected by fellow faculty, other accomplishments include national exhibitions and publications. He studied in Santa Cruz, California and Austin, Texas and has taught around the world. Working with author Andrew Leiter, his newest inspiration is capturing the childhoods of each and every US president for an upcoming book. The first group of many more to come, Ohio to the White House, is now on display at The Taft Museum of Art.
This approach falls right in line with Professor Albritton’s perspective of photography and what it brings to a person’s life, according to his artist statement:
Photography for me is an attempt to distill the overall chaos of my thoughts and experiences into visual form. Rather than merely a quest for a good picture, photography is a system for seeing and understanding. Certain moments in life give us a sneak peek into the sublime.”
Although Professor Albritton is still currently working to visit each birthplace around the country, he has started with the many close by, those of which are featured at The Taft Museum. Most people already know that the famous Abraham Lincoln was from Kentucky, but did you know that 7 former US presidents are from Ohio? William G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant– all come from the Buckeye State, which made them very accessible to Albritton.
Ohio to the White House is a creative way to look at who our presidents really are by researching where they came from, especially when in this modern day people are still so often hung up on only the surface layer of people, the superficial part that has been rubbed raw by compromise, struggle, pain, and hard work– many of the qualities that create exceptional leadership! These skillfully captured images provide a glimpse into a more personal aspect of the everyday lives of our both current and former leaders.
The Taft Museum is rich with history a fitting place for such perspectives. Built sometime close to 1820, is has been home to some pretty notable Cincinnati people, including Nicolas Longworth and the Taft Family, who eventually donated the beautiful home and hundred of pieces of art to the city. Located at 316 Pike Street in Cincinnati, this small but very tasteful museum is open Wednesday-Friday (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), and on weekends (11 a.m.-5 p.m.). It is free admission every Sunday!
Check it out before the Ohio to the White House exhibit closes July 29!