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Nell Dickerson

Nell Dickerson

American, born 1955

Nell Dickerson is a photographer, architect, Hollywood set designer, and a fourth generation cotton farmer on her family’s ancestral land in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee and began documenting her heritage in the early 1970’s by photographing her grandparent’s Mississippi cotton plantation. At the age of nineteen, she earned a degree in Anthropology, with an emphasis in ethnographic photography, from Southern Methodist University. She continued her photography studies at The San Francisco Art Institute. A second degree from there launched her career in television and motion picture film production in 1978. Movie creation transitioned into building design and in the mid 1980’s, Nell established concurrent project management practices in both Santa Fe, NM and in Los Angeles, CA. In the meantime, she earned a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of New Mexico and she became a registered architect. Sentiment for the South brought her home in 1990’s to practice architecture. In 2002, she established a multi-disciplined design studio in Lyon, MS. and in Memphis, TN. Among the studio’s projects is “Gone”, a photographic documentary of antebellum buildings in ruins. In 2004, “Gone” received an Individual Artist grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission in conjunction with the National Endowment of the Arts and the Wallace Foundation. In 2005, Nell conducted historic building assessments for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the Katrina damaged Mississippi Gulf Coast. She published that experience in a photo essay to promote conservation of the region’s most historic structures. Nell continues to exhibit her photographs and publish her writing. She is passionate about historic preservation and collaborates with several agencies to preserve, protect, and rebuild the rich culture of the South. (www.nelldickerson.com - 2010)