Throughout the ages, mankind has been fascinated with the ruins of previous societies. From the remains of the Roman Empire to the elaborately constructed follies built in the 16th and 17th centuries, the desire to gain a greater understanding of our past has driven archaeologists, artists, and scholars across the world to study the vestiges of lifestyles that have vanished in an attempt to capture their mystique and beauty. Through his collection of writing and photography on Abandonedamerica.us, Matthew Christopher has documented the ruins of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known: our own. Fragments of the vanishing industrial era lie scattered throughout the empty factories that dot the countryside. The remains of our crumbling social institutions—from schools to asylums to prisons—not only show personal glimpses into the lives of previous generations, but also serve as an indicator of our present condition and the social trends that will shape our future.
Matthew Christopher has been fascinated with ruins since a very young age, but it was his work in the mental health field and his interest in its history that led him to actively pursue abandoned asylums. From that point forward, he began searching for as many different styles of abandonments as he could find. Currently he has photographed derelict prisons, schools, amusement parks, ships, quarries, refineries, resorts, factories, distilleries, stockyards, houses, and many more. His website and photography were designed to help others understand his love for forgotten and unappreciated structures and to share the sites with those who may not have the chance to see them before they are erased. Matthew has displayed his pictures at many galleries, been featured in several publications, assisted historical and preservation societies, and given lectures on his work. He plans to continue his efforts to visit as many sites as possible.
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