Porch Dogs combines fine-art portraits of man’s best friend with beautiful architectural documentation of the Southern porch.
Nell Dickerson fondly recalls childhood nights on the sleeping porch of her grandparents’ Mississippi Delta home—the sounds of katydids, cicadas, and tree frogs, the merciful breeze from the overhead fan. But during the heat of the day, the family sought refuge indoors, leaving the dog to his lonely vigil. “I felt like he understood that the porch was the gateway between inside and outside and that it was his duty to keep sentry there in case someone wanted to pass,” she recalls.
Years later, Dickerson noticed that few new homes had porches, their residents increasingly dependent on air-conditioning. “We Southerners used to be social,” she notes. “Now, we risk losing what makes us Southern: porch sitting. But there is hope. Our dogs maintain the tradition.”
Dickerson weaves her passion for historic preservation—first detailed in her 2011 book, Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation—into a fun, uplifting photographic collection that perfectly captures a Southern tradition. Dickerson’s incomparable photographs introduce an unforgettable variety of “house dogs,” “yard dogs,” “shop dogs,” “swing dogs,” “bench dogs,” “top dogs,” “under dogs,” and “dock dogs.”
Whether they’re fans of photography or preservation, high art or humble canines, readers won’t be able to keep from smiling at the array of delightful portraits that reflect a former cultural pastime.
• Author: Neil Dickerson
• Foreword by Robert Hicks
• 112 pages