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DUNE SHACKS of Provincetown: Jane Paradise

Samuel Tager, Guest Curator

May 4 - July 30, 2023


"Once across the dunes we live in an exquisite unreality."

Hazel Hawthorne

author, dune shack dweller and doyenne




The exhibition DUNE SHACKS of PROVINCETOWN (May 4 - July 30, 2023) is based on photographer Jane Paradise's book by the same name, published in late 2023 by Schiffer Publishing. Samuel Tager of Provincetown is the guest curator of this stunning exhibition at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.


The book is both a monograph of 90+ interpretive color photographs by Jane Paradise and a cultural history of the shacks as told by the people who stayed there. Excerpts of conversation and insights from both historical and contemporary voices illuminate and reverberate with the photographs that explore exteriors and interiors of current shacks, as well as the breathtaking and isolated surrounding dune landscapes and ocean. Paradise created this work during artist residencies and visits in different shacks over more than a decade. She worked with Creative Director Joanne Dugan in developing and designing this book.


Together, Paradise and Tager selected 50 photos and 18 quotations from the book to be included in this exhibition at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.


"Curiosity and a sense of adventure led me to the backshore of Provincetown and the dune shacks. With the crash of ocean waves as a backdrop, I felt fully at peace here.

This is my primal landscape. I find comfort in the bare land hiding a bounty of living organisms that thrive despite harsh conditions. I spent childhood summer vacations here, running up and down the vast dunes. Later, as an adult seeking seclusion, I wandered the stark landscape, surprised to find the mirage of dune shacks seemingly appearing out of nowhere. I began to wonder about their occupants, the determined sojourners who braved the arduous, sandy trek to reach their homes. I also wondered what the shacks looked like inside. This began my dune shack journey: ten years of research, photo shoots, friendships, an artist residency, and more than a dozen overnight stays— all of which culminated in this book."

- Jane Paradise

from the introduction to DUNE SHACKS OF PROVINCETOWN

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