For several years I photographed educational institutions throughout New England, ranging from public high schools to private boarding schools and fraternity and sorority houses. I became fascinated with the psychology of the architecture used to contain and educate young people during transitory times in their development.
When I turned my lens from public and charter schools to more exclusive private academies, the contrast was vast. These were the privileged spaces where many of our country’s leaders have been nurtured. Elite institutions were distinguished in their architecture and decoration, and in their cleanliness.
The schools existed in environments that conveyed high aesthetic values and standards of behavior and made eloquent visual statements about the passageways to success, power, and opportunity. The implied yet absent human presence in the photographs creates a stage-like atmosphere where the historical and cultural trappings of these settings can be on full display. – Lissa Rivera
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