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Coal Camp, Near Gundy, Buchanan County, Virginia (Detail). By Builder Levy. 1970.

The often harsh lives of Appalachian coal miners and their families seem far removed from the pleasures of a Florida summer. But this month, inside the cool confines of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, you’ll be transported to that world by the striking black-and-white imagery of New York-based photographer Builder Levy. For decades Levy has documented the landscape, the people and the homes and workplaces of this mountain region, eventually winning a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to complete his epic project. According to Vanity Fair, “Levy’s show does for today’s coal miners what Walker Evans did for the sharecroppers and tenant farmers in the Dust Bowl.”

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