Recording a Vanishing World

Filson Historical Society Lecture
January 17, 2019, 6 PM

The work of Kentucky-based writer, artist and naturalist Harlan Hubbard remains a vital resource to those interested in understanding Ohio Valley river culture. Along with his wife, Anna, Harlan made the acquaintance of many river folk over the course of his life and left us delightful written and artistic accounts of his encounters, friendships, and observations throughout his many journals and sketchbooks. The Hubbards held tightly to the ethos of the river denizens, and, though the Ohio River shantyboat culture was by then a shadow of its former, bustling self, Harlan managed to carry on its people’s stories in his own life and work. In “Recording a Vanishing World,” Jessica Whitehead will discuss Hubbard’s uniquely personal perspective on shantyboat culture in the Kentuckiana area and how his legacy helps us reconstruct a world that has largely passed into memory.