Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1


Abstract/Artist's Statement

Senior Thesis Artist Statement

Robert Hinton

For my senior project I took photographs of historical sites in New Mexico and New York. My project has two main themes.

The first theme is American identity. For example, the Vanderbilt mansion and gardens in Hyde Park, NY are of an imported architectural style, Beaux Arts. The identity of America for so long was found outside of the country usually in Europe. Following the immense prosperity of the Gilded Age, or American Renaissance, a more unique American identity began to form. The second period of economic prosperity that is represented in my project is post-war America. In this period the American identity became about technology and military might. The mansion and missiles comparison is what defines my project.

My project also looks at the function of historical sites. In the prime of their existence these sites were not open to the public. One could not visit Vanderbilt’s private estate nor hike through White Sands Missile Range. Today these sites have been transformed to facilitate visitors. Public restrooms, gift shops, and informative signs now interact with the sites’ original environments. Indeed these sites have lived two lives. The first being the function they were designed to serve. The second serving the visitor, becoming what the tourist expects the sites to be. My goal was for my camera to act as mediator between the sites’ two diachronic states.

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