About the Project

Over 50 years of photography from rural Tennessee. Archived, documented and curated by Joseph Shipp during a design residency at Hoffman & Co. All images by Joseph’s grandfather Joe Hardy Shipp.

Documenting history

You’ve probably never heard of Shipp Studio. You’ve probably never heard of Joe H. Shipp and Ronald Shipp, the father and son whom started the small, rural Tennessee photography studio. However, those people whom knew the work of Joe and Ronnie will never forget the many ways they touched their lives, and how they shaped the small community they lived and worked in.

This project is for them. For the people of the South. For the people of Tennessee. For the individuals and families of Hickman County, many whom are gone, but live on through these photographs. This is the history of a small town—of two men, father and son, whom dedicated their lives to documenting the people and events of this town.

Starting with Joe’s earliest photographs, dating back to 1946, Joseph is digitizing and archiving over 16,000 4x5 inch Kodak Safety Film black and white negatives. The end result will be a limited edition hardcover photography book designed and curated by Joseph. 

Keep up with Joseph’s progress by subscribing to the blog and following him on Facebook and Instagram.

Joe Hardy Shipp circa 1934 on his farm in Nunnelly, Tennessee