Untitled [Barn, North elevation, North of Aurelia, Cherokee County, Iowa]

Untitled [Barn, North elevation, North of Aurelia, Cherokee County, Iowa], 2006, Matt Niebuhr

North of Aurelia, along county road about 4 miles north of hi-way 3, a barn.

All by itself.

From the series Portraits: Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility, a vestige of another time and another farmstead, slowly vanishing from the Iowa Landscape. I’ve made it a concern of mine now to look closely for these old structures – most are relatively insignificant examples of rural utility in action, but in the aggregate become an alarming signal of an end of an era. Gone (or slowly vanishing) are the old wood barns and corn cribs. There usefulness – that rural utility is disappearing, replaced by modern steel structures – faster, bigger, cheaper… and soulless.

Only occasionally can you find one of these old guys re-purposed and thus maintained… A few are being saved most likely out of a certain defiance of changing times. Its been changing for some time now. Mega farms – mass industrialized farming is the economic reality. More to come on this subject as I am contemplating an assembly…

One in a series entitled Portraits: Faces and Profiles of Utility