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Work Samples


A shot from the workshop I lead, Speak for Peace, offered through the Mellon-funded Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program


The House of Ebony arranged to have a house meeting at Club Bunns, a major spot for decades, before it closed down. (Note it did open but has a different vibe) We worked the dancing (a kind of improv rehearsal) into the interviews.

Ginny and the Wailers.jpg

Ginny Pitts, picture in orange, stands with the Original Wailers for their return to Wilmington. Ginny along with her husband Ibis knew Bob Marley and his mom who lived in Wilmington.

Riding Wild: Documentary Trailer

Riding Wild follows Dink as he leads a crew of BMXers to bushwhack an illegal set of trails along a raggedy patch of urban wilderness to escape their violent neighborhood in Baltimore. Funded by the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund and completed in December 2017, Riding Wild was shot like a road movie considering the subjects are always in motion. However, this is a road movie that never leaves home, that is; all that wanderlust and sense of discovery must take place within the confines of the city rather than through the inspiration of unchartered territory.


About Charles

Baltimore City

Charles Cohen's picture
    I am a documentary filmmaker born out of two decades spent as a print journalist writing for local and national publications. But while most people think of documentary as an extension of conventional objective journalism with 60 Minutes as the dominating archetype, I gravitate to the genre’s original definition which goes like this: “Documentary is the creative treatment of actuality.” These are some magnificent marching orders that are a lot more expansive than say “All the... more

Street Videography

Street Videography borrows from the great Street Photographers such as Will Evans, Gordon Parks and Baltimore’s own Martha Cooper. But with video I press into documentary narrative but in a way I aiming for the freeze moment impact, a kind of core boring of that time, but also to press upon that moment as well.

This has been an accidental coalescence, going from one project to the next. This year I found myself launching The Speak for Peace workshop, where we interview community activists, print their image on a poster with a QV code in an ambitious effort to create street level dialogue. There was also the mural film project, commissioned by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, where I found myself playing the part of the silent conduit for 20 art pieces and how they interact with the street-ecosystem. And finally the Health Care for the Homeless commissioned short documentary to capture the realities of someone who went from homeless drug addiction to cleaning up and finding an apartment, a job and enrolled in college. With each shoot, I realize tha the street is the heart of any community and yet we seal it off whether it be physically with walls or with our routines, which makes sense why in the streets is where we find the most evidence of dispair and hope.

  • BYFA interview.jpg

    My crew from BYFA after shooting Erricka Bridgeford for Speak for Peace.
  • Interviews

    A shot from the workshop I lead, Speak for Peace, offered through the Mellon-funded Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program
  • Baltimore Mural Project

    This was designed to be shown on a bus of executives coming through Baltimore to visit Philadelphia's mural project. The idea was to get them intrequed to revisit Baltimore. But for me it was a chance to wallow in something that I always cheered on from passing car window. More murals please. What I discovered was to spend time with them was to see how the art isn't contained to the wall, that is, the art includes the street it looks out onto, as if playing off the surroundings, ranging from joyous, tragic, surreal and defiant.
  • Challenge 4 Change Thanksgiving Message

    This grew out of me meeting Uncle T on Monument Street. He saw during an unrelated shoot and pulled me inside his store front community outreach operation. There, he showed me a gallery of death, life-size posters of young men killed within a six block radius of his facility. He had about 40 photos. From that point on, I've engaged him in projects, including the Speak for Peace project where he is included in the video. This particular video was a piece I did for him for him to use and illustrates the kind of grassroots work that unfolds, many times with no media coverage.
  • Joules Fallier works the corner of North and Pennsylvania Avenues.

    Bury our Guns not our Sons,
    Setting up ceramic guns and asking passers by to place a weapon with a victim's name on it in the sand proved to be a powerful catalyst to talk about people's experience with violence. The sheer amount of stories that poured fourth reveals the prevalence of violence in our everyday lives.
  • Bury our Guns

    Password is Abell
  • Speak for Peace workshop

    This workshop, offered through Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program, is an experiment, fusing the goal of exposing young upstarts to digital storytelling with street activism producing rather unpredictable results. The idea is to get activists and residents to speak to people on the street, specifically on the issues of violence and its repercussions. We would ask them to imagine that they are on the poster and with some sci-fi magic they could appear to tell someone on their way to some place they should not go. What would they tell them.
  • From Coal to Diamond

    Commissioned to create a short video to play at Health Care for the Homeless annual fundraising dinner, this project is designed to fire the crowd up for a "giving auction" after a large meal. I have done four of these, but this one I was allowed to focus on one person's struggle. As a storyteller I knew I wanted to cover ground in a short bit of time, film Venessa at the storage facility at a dinner, walking down the street, getting much appreciated dental care and riding the bus.

The Baltimore Ballroom Project

The Baltimore Ballroom Project is a collaborative documentary focusing on Baltimore's African American Ballroom scene in anticiaption of a massive gala held at the Peabody in May 2019. I was brought in as a professional filmmaker to work with the Johns Hopkins Film Club to do emersion filming of three Baltimore Houses and get "real life" stories. This project lives in a gray area as almost all the students have moved on except for me and two graduate students, serving as producers. We are moving forward with this rich material. What you see is the First Cut. We will be making several passes. Despite this scene being quite underground (at least in Baltimore) I have been given amazing access, which is due to a mutural appreciation of the Ballroom's artform and our love of Baltimore.

  • Ebony.png

    The House of Ebony arranged to have a house meeting at Club Bunns, a major spot for decades, before it closed down. (Note it did open but has a different vibe) We worked the dancing (a kind of improv rehearsal) into the interviews.
  • The Peabody Ballroom Experience

    This is the official Johns Hopkins Peabody video of May's Ballroom. We shot the event and will be using footage for documentary in progress which will have an entirely different feel, a more gritter feel. This is a good primier for our coming-documentary.

Hidden in Plain Sight, A look at the Lost Jones Falls

The Jones Falls served as the nation’s flour mill capital, powered Baltimore’s Industrial base as well as served fresh water for the city.
Now more than 150 years later this documentary will apply a naturalist approach to what many see as a glorified drainage ditch. When not obscured by an elevated expressway, The Falls runs along a one-time Native American trail from the city’s harbor about 18 miles to the wealthy hills of Baltimore County.
This film makes no delineation between idyllic nature such as the herons nesting by a bridge as compared to the seasonal posting of the Health Department sewage spill warnings. History will be revealed as is, relics poking out of the ground, graves, a ladder left as a monument from a segregated pool. The film is in research mode, but the strategy is to reveal a portion of the search, the crumbling maps, the land records to stress the fragile state of the story itself.
This Angus Verde a la The Gleanersapproach, minus the self-reflection, will present The Jones Falls corridor in junk drawer fashion, as a composite of an ecosystem where the city carries the weight of its past as it lurches forward.

  • Hidden in Plain Sight Falls.png

    Hidden in Plain Sight is at the early stages of production. Pictured is a now picturesque falls, which once powered more than 50 mills throughout this greenway.
  • Themes of future documentary

    Hidden in Plain Sight will be a push back on the conventional view of nature, being something rather unreachable for us city folks, existing somewhere far off and dream-like. Rather I'm looking to train the camera on the Falls, mired in both sewage and beautiful decay.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight Wheel.png

    A theme in this documentary will be --- You can either search out wondrous rock formations or pause to stare at rust in the rain for the same effect.
  • Nature Edit

    The inspiration for this documentary came from an assignment this year to follow an artist and a naturalist through the Jones Falls watershed. Darian Jones and I shot the footage, which was edited up in New York for a non-profit. But I was struck by the message about how the Jones Falls is a ecosystem that is thriving despite it not falling into the prevailing image of what nature should look like. I want to explore this concept in a free-flowing way.
  • Including the act of researching as part of the narrative

    This is a look-book video of how I plan to include research as part of the story. How the Jones Falls remains within the confines of old maps and crumbling books seems to be part of it and for me is inspirational that I want to share with the viewers.
  • Screen Shot 2019-12-20 at 12.11.44 PM.png

    A major theme for Hidden in Plain Sight is to question the concept of nature and even the idea of "restoring nature."

Riding Wild, A So Called Documentary

The best way to look at Riding Wild is as a road movie forced to live within the city limits.. But rather than being stuck, the documentary’s subject Dink, draws inspiration from creating a set of illegal trails along a raggedy patch of woods in the city to keep from the dangers in their neighborhood. Thus, Dink and his cohorts find wilderness in the most unlikely of places in the woods growing under an overpass. At times, Riding Wild plays like a counter-intuitive nature film in that it lacks all the puriety attributes usually assigned to presitne exclusively places . And yet they draw the same kind of inspiration especially when the sun sets, a bondfire roars and the police helicopters swoop by. As Dink puts it, "I get to play in the sand, this is my zen garden, how about that."
Funded by the Saul Zaentz Foundation, this documentary allowed me to concentrate on the use of music to propell and shape the story. All the music was original, created by Jason Gray with me serving as producer. The power of music cannot be over-stated and is something I will be exploring in the near future.

  • Fire needed

    This crew is determined create a place for themselves in this city dumping ground. Their passion is demonstrated by the constant manicuring of the dirt tracks to their ability to find salvation in this urban wilderness.
  • Riding Wild: Documentary Trailer

    Riding Wild follows Dink as he leads a crew of BMXers to bushwhack an illegal set of trails along a raggedy patch of urban wilderness to escape their violent neighborhood in Baltimore. Funded by the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund and completed in December 2017, Riding Wild was shot like a road movie considering the subjects are always in motion. However, this is a road movie that never leaves home, that is; all that wanderlust and sense of discovery must take place within the confines of the city rather than through the inspiration of unchartered territory.
  • Shoot on Wheels

    Much of our shooting was done with small cameras called Osmos, which sat on balancing systems. This project allowed me to explore collaboration with the subjects. Dink, the main subject, shot this of his friend Ian Burke. Dink proved to have a strong eye and a knack for getting shots, better than me when on a bike that's for sure.
  • Trail Life

    Riding Wild, Baltimore bikes,
    We opted to film as they lived even if it meant not getting the standard three point lighting interviews -- Thus the subtitle, “A so-called documentary.” As a result, Riding Wild offers a different view where urban woes don’t follow a problem-solution narrative that seems to be a prerequitive for any social docs. Rather our prime direction was reveal what was it like to be with them. As a result Riding Wild shows them in a perpetual state of aspiration, like any person riding on the fumes of creativity, which in their case lives on the road, on the trail, always in motion.
  • Dink and his shovels

    Riding Wild was a subversive nature doc showing how people get the most out of their surroundings and with this perspective, the beauty was revealed. I allowed the film to breath in these parts. I collaborated with Musician J Gray, who made an original score for these moments where the environment emerged as the major point.
  • Riding or Punch in the Face

    In this documentary I worked with composure Jay Gray to create eight pieces to emphasize points or capture the rhythm that was present during the shooting from always being on the move. I embrace music in documentary filmmaking and believe the right use of a tune can transform a scene. Here's one example. Password music

    This is the entire film. Password is pegs
  • instagram vid

    This is the example of the instagram campaign I'm employing to support the documentary.

Heel on Red

A photographer with a sideshow interest in fetish gigs isn't that unusual, but having his story told as a visual personal essay by his long time girlfriend offers some deep looks into a hard to articulate passion. When Sam Holden died at age 44, Donna Sherman, his long time girl friend was left as a participant and champion of his art. In Heel on Red, Sherman explores her conflict, including how Holden’s pursuit strained their relationship made more complicated due to her conviction that he traversed the clichés of fetish photography into the sanctity of art. The half hour film did well in underground festivals but we believed that its half hour length, although technically qualifies as a short, still kept it out of festivals as programers prefer shorts no longer than 10 minutes. We are not working on an eight minute piece that makes all the points of the longer version. This version should be ready by early 2020. The actual act of making this film in itself is a repurposing, a regeneration of the work -- photographs, many done by hand and meant to be seen in a frame or a book -- have now been collected into a rapid-fire digital infusion --- certainly something that was never imagined when Holden was still alive.

  • Heel on Red Trailer

    This is the trailer for the half hour experimental documentary that is currently making the film festival circuit.
  • Holden Silhouette.jpg

    Sam Holden shot most of his work on a Hasselblad making the prints by hand.
  • paperHeel.jpg

    So how do you do a documentary about an artist who died just as he found new levels of success? The obvious tact would be to do interviews and utilize footage offered by family and friends. But with the Sam Holden project, we wanted to steer clear of the pitfalls of being a praise singer. Also, we were dealing with the controversially- charged fetish photos and how it would play during this period of reflection on sex and gender roles. The strength and the real reason to make this film is Donna Sherman’s point of view. She reveals her conflict.
  • sam polariods.jpg

    This is a link to the full film. (for some reason this site wouldn't accept some of the vimeo links) password Flash Please don't post.

The Last Horsewoman of Baltimore,

What does it take to keep the storied stable running in West Baltimore? For the owner Dorothy and her husband David Johns, it means tending the five horses every day in a neighborhood where drug dealers work the allies behind them well as the old timers lounge around fire cans. It means traveling to the Pennsylvania Amish to find replacements for the century old wagons or baking endless pies to pay for hay. Dorothy believes if she attains funding to convert the stables into an equestrian learning center, something it has been doing for generations of kids, then she can re-establish the Baltimore tradition of bringing fresh produce to parts of the city, known as food deserts. For the last several years I have filmed Johns, whose grandmother was the first female Arabber and stable owner, as she quiets back alley drug use for girl scout visits and convinces state funders to help in repairs, giving the stable new life. This film will look back at the tradition but not with nostalgia as confronts she and her husband both in their 60s, only have so much time left where they can physically work the stables without a younger generation to carry on the tradition.

  • The Baltimore A-rabbers, Their exodus within a City

    In 2008 I started filming the plight of a group of A-rabbers, who were evicted from a stable and then were moved by the city to a parking lot at Pimlico Race Track and then to under a bridge in West Baltimore. From that story emerged Dorothy Johns, who went from owning two horses to owning a stable and represents the best hope for this unique Baltimore tradition's survival.
  • Arabber Sizzle Reel

    The reel reveals the themes and approaches to the on-going project of following Stable Owner Dorothy Johns' struggle to keep A-rabbing viable as a trade, a tradition and an opportunity for community outreach in Baltimore
  • Publications.

    This is from the feature story I wrote for the now defunct magazine The Urbanite. I took the photo of the man with the horse. I also provided a video series covering the eviction of the Arabbers from a large stable near North Avenue. Below is the article I wrote for the New York Time in 1995 and I have documenting the Arabbers ever since. For Horse-Drawn Carts, Hurdles in Baltimore By The New York Times Published: November 12, 1995 (Being a stringer, I didn't get a biline.) • BALTIMORE, Nov.
  • Arabber Project with student crew and production

    This is from a class project where students from the community helped interview, shoot and edit this piece.
  • The love and hate of horses 2

    This is also a film made with two young people from the community. This one I am especially proud of since the two participants were extremely shy and it was Dorothy Johns, who stepped up and helped them shoot, sometimes she shot them herself. This was a first film for all three.
  • Fatback's Funeral

    This was the funeral for Eugene "Fatback" Allen, whom I knew and admired. This was also the moment where his granddaughter Dorothy Johns felt a sense of urgency to not only archive a culture on the verge of extinction but reinvigorate it as a source of inspiration and belonging for a current generation growing up in a part of the city with increasing obstacles and demising opportunities.
  • Fatback and Johns .png

    The late Eugene "Fatback" Allen with his Niece Dorothy Johns, who as a stable owner, is trying to keep the tradition going even if it means embracing reinvention.

Documentary --- Fiddles and Football -- adding my own little spin on History.

The Crooked Tune, An Old Time Fiddler in a Modern World (2014), documents Master Fiddler Dave Bing who unwittingly serves as the flame-keeper to the very much misunderstood music known as Old Time. By following him through his classes from West Virginia to England and his informal “musical visits” with his mentors, all of whom are now dead, we get a detailed tapestry of this music.

The Last Season, The Life and Demolition of Memorial Stadium (2002), was my first documentary and remains a guiding light on what can be possible. This project was a team effort with filmmaker Joseph Mathew, whose follow up film Crossing Arizona was selected for Sundance. For two years we filmed the demolition, the last-ditch efforts to save the stadium and the ritualistic impromptu homages by people stopping by to pay their respects. In the process, we interviewed athletes from Cal Ripken Johnny Unitas to fans like Wild Bill Hagy. While the subject may be officially about the stadium the result was capturing a city at a cross-roads as it moves from collegial to being more professional. As one observer put it about Memorial Stadium, “This was our backyard.”

Both these films represent my obsession to press the pause button and swing the camera around to the areas that get little attention but still offer expansive windows into what makes this American culture tic.

  • Illustration Hammons telling a story.jpg

    The Crooked Tune
    This illustration by Tom Chalkly is part of a series used to describe how Sherman Hammons, a backwoodsman, would visit Dave Bing and his father’s campsite. Years later, Hammons would change Bing’s life when he played a “strange weird, archaic, out of this world tune,” on a banjo sending Bing and his brothers on a lifelong excursion through West Virginia’s rich old time music. Today Dave Bing is one of the last to learn from the old timers like Hammons and stands as arguably the ambassador of West Virginia Old Time music.
  • lastseason_poster.jpg

    The Last Season was a top ten seller in the Baltimore metropolitan area, back when DVDs was actually something that you could sell. This was my entree into filmmaking world as still sits as an example of creating your own market for your work.
  • Sherman's Cabin

    Sherman's shack served as a backwoods salon where the old man would hold court to an odd selection -- a poet, an academic, some wry locals and musicians. By the time I got there, Sherman was two decades dead and the shack was rotting back into the ground with much of his furnishings crumbling with it. I spent time filming this historic wreckage. I love how this drawing captures the charm of how the cabin looked to Dave Bing.
  • The Last Season Sizzles

    The Last Season, Highlight Reel
  • The intro pic 4.jpg

    It soon became evident that I was doing my own field work with my camera and mics, which was just fine by me. I always wanted to do field work, going back to my college days. Dave Bing served as a tour guide as he traveled among amazing musicians in the far reaches of West Virginia and England (where I also tagged along). Seen here is Lester McCumbers. At 91 he was the oldest renown fiddler in West Virginia. Some of his fiddles he made from trees in his backyard, one from the floorboards from his kitchen. It was an honor to record him and he died two years later.
  • Hammons Family Graphic

    I am committed to integrating innovative graphics into my documentaries. I believe that people get if not bored, they at least appreciate a change in scenery. This pieced helped me answer a nagging question -- how to explain Old Time. This was particularly finicky since the term is rather open ended. It pre-dates bluegrass, which was a rather modern invention and the definition varies from musician to musician. So the best way, I figured, was to embrace the vagueness and allow the exploration to be part of the definition. Working with Artist Adam Bender, we pulled from archival photos.
  • Unitas.jpg

    There was a lot of archival footage in The Last Season -- all of which was attained rightfully. As my first film, I didn't know how far I could go. When we started, I thought if I could convince Wild Bill Hagy to do an onsite interview then that would be enough. But I kept pushing, interviewing sports figures from Brookes Robinson to Johnny Unitas. (Apparently we got the last Unitas interview before his death) This scavenger hunt process appeals to my love of research.

    Password Crooked Fiddler This documentary took on three incarnations. the original was about 80 minutes. The Shortest, Walking the Crooked Tune, which played at a fringe film festival in Paris was cut down to 15 minutes. I think this is my inner-journalist that allows me to kill my babies in order to remake hard-labored features into shorts.
  • Fiddle Making

    Dave's handcrafted fiddles required a whole another level of focus. This was slow tedious work, but one that Dave turned into meditation and one that lent to some nice filmic opportunities. Through my years visiting Dave Bing I would always set up in his workshop recording how Dave made fragile fiddles from chunks of wood with hand tools. I used several cameras. The Bolex, I will admit was my favorite. There is so much I love about shooting this process, the glint of the light off the chisels, the detail in the calibers and of course the grain in the wood.

Shakespeare for the likes of Us

To produce Shakespeare for the modern world, you got to tell your story for the digital minded. For me that meant creating short little pieces that range widely from sword training, to speaking in original pronunciation to the madman carpenter behind the evolving Globe style stage hidden away in a church outside Hampden. What I liked was the subtle message of youthful appreciation for Shakespeare, including the embrace of diversity as well as the love of the old text. This project demonstrated how to artfully tell a story, that is avoid offering accolades for demonstrating your distinction.

  • Embedded video media on Vimeo

    The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory lives a quiet existence in a church outside of Hampden. This was an attempt to reach out to the world.
  • Sword Play

    The unseen world of sword coaching turns about to be a show onto itself. This part of acting is taken for granted but requires a great deal of practice.
  • Shakespeare Screaming.png

    Grabbing the casts' warmup proved to be a surreal accent that couldn't be resisted and helped push the coverage away from portraying the production in a conventional way. While this production of Hamlet employed what is known as original pronunciation, costumes came off the contemporary rack. Hamlet looked like an aging club kid.
  • OP with The Founders

    The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory has a reputation for its use of original pronunciation, an educated-guess of what the language would have sounded back in The Bard's day. The trick was to delve into the making of original pronunciation without getting to bogged down into technicalities or theater-speak. As a filmmaker this is an example where not knowing -- I knew nothing of OP -- was an advantage, allowing me to be the advocate for the would be viewer who would have little patients for excess adulteration about the practice.
  • Stage Vr. 4 sent

    Doing the behind the scenes look at the building of the stage speaks to what fires me up as a storyteller. I love stories that are hidden. For example, while the stage is well built, I would imagine many in the audience would take it for granted and never know the personality behind the construction -- an eccentric woodworker who stashes away valuable Shakespeare editions along with his collection of Industrial Revolution-era machines.
  • Orpheiah's death.png

    Filming rehearsals may have provided better access, but it is tricky weaving the footage with the shots of the performance.

Delaware Bob, the Unknown Story of Bob Marley in Wilmington, Del.

A work in progress, Delaware Bob will be a short film focusing on Marley's life in Wilmington where he worked in the Chrystler Plant. His mother was already living there and convinced her son to come up when Jamacia became too hot politically. This was before Marley became famous. Although his stay was short, about two years, his presence there is felt to this day. Some relatives still remain including his aunt who was living there until recently next to Marley's rowhouse. One Love Park was renamed in his honor and a festival created by the Late Ibis Pitts, a Marley confidant, runs annually in downtown Wilmington still overseen by the Ginny Pitts and her children. The film's goal is to reveal the power of when a town has a connection to a world-wide figure even decades after his passing.

  • Ibis with Bob.jpg

    The Late Ibis Pitts with Bob Marley in Wilmington, Del. Ibis went on to create the Bob Marley Festival (blessed by Marley's Mom "Mother Booker") in Wilmington in honor of his friend Bob. His wife Ginny and her sons and daughters now run the international festival.
  • Delaware Bob in the making

    Delaware Bob for an exhibit at the People's Festival in Wilmington, Del. Password Exodus
  • Ginny and the Wailers.jpg

    Ginny Pitts, picture in orange, stands with the Original Wailers for their return to Wilmington. Ginny along with her husband Ibis knew Bob Marley and his mom who lived in Wilmington.
  • Elaine.jpg

    Elaine owns the unofficial Bob Marley House off of One Love Park in Wilmington. She knew Marley and was suppose to be one of the backup singers but he died. Her entire house is painted and dedicated to the musician.
  • Elaine preparing stew.jpg

    Elaine cooks in her "island backyard" making a tradition Jamaican vegetarian stew that was prepared for Marley when he visit Wilmington during his U.S. tours.

The Dolley Madison House, a front seat to Washington D.C.'s history since the country's founding.

I was commissioned to do a half hour documentary featuring Judge Michel as the tour guide. The Dolley Madison house, located on Lafayette Park just across from the White House is run by the Federal Court of Appeals where Judge Michel presided for decades. The retired judge had a wealth of knowledge about the house which served as headquarters for General McCullen during the Civil to being the birthplace for NASA. But it became apparent following him around would never sustain a half hour documentary. So I turned to archival material. This project demonstrates not just the transformative power of archival material, but how accessiable this bounty of illustrations, photographs and maps are to one person with a computer. I so appreciate the luxuriary of going on The Library of Congress' Digital Collection and downloading history. The possibilities are truly endless for anyone looking for historical context. At the same time, I also wanted to make this project feel contemporary rather than a power point tour through history.

  • D.C. in Flames.jpg

    One of the political cartoons in the Library of Congress's digital collection
  • Dolley Short 2 June 18, 2019

    This is a 4 minute short of the half hour project. It is apparent that a short compendium to a longer documentary comes in handy in appealing to more short-viewing mediums like cellphone use.
  • Dolley Portrait.jpg

    A glass negative of Dolley Madison, one of two surviving Revolutionary Founders who were able to make into the age of photography. (The other one was Eliza Hamilton). Attained from the Library of Congress
  • Paul Jennings.jpg

    Paul Jennings
    Paul Jennings was a slave to the Madisons, later freed. He wrote the first memoir about life in The White House.
  • Jennings Descendents.jpg

    Paul Jennings' descendants was invited to the Obama White House.
  • Jaqualin Kennedy.jpg

    Jacqueline Kennedy saved the Dolley Madison House and the other 18th Century buildings bordering Lafayette Park when contemporary architects sought their removal to make way for modern office buildings. I was able to secure this photo through the Kennedy Library in Massachusetts.