Other Projects

Stone Legacy

Stone Legacy is a photographic portfolio consisting of 12 11×14 color prints presented in 16×20 archival mattes with an accompanying six page letterpress text. The portfolio is offered as a limited edition of 50 boxed sets. Individual prints are also available.

Baja California has always been a siren call for outsiders.  Since Cortez’s time, a succession of explorers, missionaries, pirates and politicians have tried to fathom its mysteries and profit from its elusive treasures.  Many leave, frustrated by an intractable land.  Those who remain are patient, and above all, resourceful. During the 18th Century the Jesuit and Dominican missionaries left indelible marks of their influence in Baja California: a resilient frontier culture and a chain of beautiful stone churches dotting the peninsula.

From 1697 to 1768,  the Jesuits founded 16 missions on the Baja California peninsula.  After the Jesuit period, the Dominicans built many of the stone churches at the mission sites.  Now, some of the buildings are in ruins, and others have been extensively  remodeled.  Among the churches that remain are five which offer a window into the mission era—a window that is rapidly disappearing as the buildings deteriorate.

Most of the missions are located in isolated areas, off the beaten path of the peninsular highway.   The Californios who were born in these remote regions, are proud to trace their ancestry back to the soldiers and families who lived in Baja California at the height of mission influence.  Although there are no people in my photographs of the churches, a human presence is embodied in the images—a burning candle, a garden still tended after 250 years, a confessional screen where priest and parishioner communicate, and time worn stone steps leading to a choir loft.  It is the people, seen and unseen, who inspired me to make these photographs.