“The Land Remembers,” featuring more than 30 black-and-white infrared photographs by Corvallis photographer Rich Bergeman, will be on view at the Benton County Museum in Philomath from May 10 to June 15.
An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. and a gallery talk is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1.
Over the last three years Bergeman has explored hundreds of miles of back roads in the Rogue River country, from Mt. McLoughlin to Gold Beach in search of places where one of the bloodiest and longest-running wars in the state's history raged in the early 1850s. Largely forgotten today, the Rogue River Wars festered and flared up multiple times between 1851 and 1854 before erupting into all-out war involving the U.S. Army in 1855-56. It ended with the forced removal of the Rogue Valley and the South Coast tribes to reservations at Siletz and Grand Ronde.
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Bergeman says his goal was not to document exact sites from the war years, but rather to bring the historic conflict back to life through a “reflective look at the beautiful and sublime landscape that played host to such tragic events over 160 years ago.”
An Oregonian since 1976, Bergeman is a retired instructor of journalism and photography for Linn-Benton Community College in Albany. Over the past two decades, the 70-year-old photographer has focused primarily on portraying forgotten Northwest histories through photographs of what’s been left behind. His photographic portfolios can be seen at richbergeman.zenfolio.com, and in book form.
The museum, 1101 Main St. in Philomath, is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.