This work explores the life of a woman, Katherine Josephine Sparks, who lived in Nashville from 1910 to 1993. Vignettes of her life are revealed through the Katherine Sparks Collection at the Nashville Archives, in which over 18,000 items including letters, photographs, memorabilia, and legal documents house parts of her family’s story. Katherine lived an unassuming life, she never married, and she had no children. There is very little documentation of her life left other than what is held in this archival collection. Without the archive, this record would be lost—a small part of history that would go undiscovered and unexplored.
These images are a glimpse into that history, reimagining her life then and giving it meaning to us now. They breathe new life into these memories that have been sitting in closed boxes for years. These images create her—her hands, her clothes, her being, her memory. But we never see her face, she does not give that much of herself away. Because as we try to discover her, she slips through our fingers. She is a ghost we cannot catch. Time separates us, but here, in these images, time becomes blurred and we can exist together before she eludes our grasp again.
Kelly, Claire E., "With Kindest Regards to You and Miss Sparks" (2021). Honors Scholars Collaborative Projects. 42.