Owners hope to reconnect community to its past while preserving a treasure trove of photos spanning more than a century.
COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE (January 29, 2018) - A new business has opened on W. 7th St. appropriately named, W7thCo Vintage Photo Gallery. The gallery is housed in a Nineteenth Century building that has been renovated over the last two years and was previously a camera shop. Visitors to the space are greeted by a L. F. Deardorf 8x10 Studio Camera that has taken many of the photos displayed on the white brick walls and was in use by the same studio for sixty-two years. The opening show features photos that span the decades between the 1870’s to the 1970’s and range from scenes of everyday life, advertising, news photography, architecture to portraits, but all from the Columbia area. “The opening of W7thCo Vintage Photo Gallery is a welcome addition to the retail mix in historic downtown Columbia, sure to appeal to locals and visitors alike,” stated Kellye Murphy, Tourism & Marketing Director for the City of Columbia. “It is a beautiful gallery where everyone will enjoy shopping the fine collection of photography, and we are fortunate it also offers a museum quality experience of Columbia’s
photographic history spanning more than 100 years.”
Although the W7thCo gallery has archival prints available for purchase, owners Kim Hayes and Joel Friddell say that their first goal is preservation of the negatives from which the prints are made. “With the age of many of the negatives and due to the conditions that they were stored, there is some deterioration of the photos and we are scanning the originals to upload on redundant online storage as well as creating a database of information on each one.”, Ms. Hayes explained. The couple are also hoping to reconnect residents, past and present with the city’s history. “We want these images to be accessible to residents of Columbia to enjoy,” Mr. Friddell added, “We’ve already had many visitors that have found relatives in the photos and have filled us in on names and dates, including a ninety year old visitor that pointed out a photo from 1912 that was an image of her father.” Gallery patrons are encouraged to write down anything they know about particular photos on a notebook kept on an antique display case which is filled with vintage cameras, equipment and porcelain letters that spell out, “ORMAN” and were taken from the studio exterior before it was demolished in late 2017.
The W7thCo Vintage Photo Gallery will be changing out displays quarterly and the next opening will coincide with Mule Day in April. The website for the gallery will have all past show images and is adding more collections that can be viewed at any time. For now the gallery hours are; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information visit, https://gallery.w7thco.com or contact Kim Hayes at 931-584-6111.