Last year the Wichita Falls Museum of Art featured a show by the acclaimed American landscape photographer Frank Gohlke of his photographs of Wichita Falls in the aftermath of a massive tornado that destroyed so much of the town in 1979. These are 40 before/after pairings, as he shot dramatically injured locations directly after the storm, and went back to those spots to rephotograph them a year later. In some cases, people had rebuilt was was lost—homes, business, roads and landscapes—with incredible fidelity, or they improved on whatever had been there, or conversely they simply washed their hands of it or razed the destruction and left a blank, or nature itself had taken over.
The show opened at the museum on April 10, 2016 for the 37th anniversary of what is known as Terrible Tuesday, but the museum has for the time being lined two of its wide passageways with a number of these pairings, so any museumgoer can still catch a good slice of this body of work when they visit.
Golke is a Texas native but has spent most of his career on the east coast and in Arizona. He’s the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others.
Here are a few images from this body of work, titled Aftermath: The Wichita Falls Tornado.