A Picture of an Old Country Store: The Construction of Folklore in Everyday Life

Jon Kay


This brief essay provides a close reading of a photograph taken by Frank Hohenberger, an Indiana photojournalist. The image is of the “Old Country Store” a store adjacent to the Nashville House, a tourist destination in Nashville, Indiana. Through tracing the history of this site and the photograph of it, I probe the constructed imagery of these two related artifacts with the aim of understanding a portion of their complex production. This paper is not a search for the authentic or a critique of the fake, but rather an exploration of the art of authentication as a complex social process embedded in particular historical and intercultural settings


Tourism; Visual Anthropology; Photography; Romanticism; Folklorization; Authentication; Traditionalization; Economics; Arts and Crafts; Journalism

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