In her exhibit “Red Rock & Rust Belt: A Tale of Two Cities,” photographer Susan Webb explores the connection between two cities that do not readily suggest comparison: the modern city of Detroit and the ancient site of Petra in modern Jordan.
Webb’s work will be on display Sunday, June 30, through July 21 at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.
The photographs juxtapose images of urban decay with ancient remains. Though separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles, the same achievements and challenges are found in the ruins of the two cities.
Detroit rose to prominence from meager beginnings as a French outpost in the early 1700s. By the 1920s, Detroiters had built a powerhouse of industry, manufacturing and innovation with wide boulevards and stunning architecture. Petra in southern Jordan was home to the Nabataeans who made it their capital more than 2,000 years ago. In antiquity, this city of prominent gardens, colonnaded streets, theaters and temples was the hub of spice and silk routes that connected the Far East and the Mediterranean.
Born in the Blue Mountains of Australia and raised in Sydney, Webb studied photography in London, England. A love of classics and the arts led her to archaeological photography. She has traveled and worked throughout the Middle East and Europe, documenting excavations and artifacts.
An exhibit opening reception is at 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the museum. The exhibit is presented 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, go www.lsa.umich.edu/kelsey.
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