Douglas Bartlett Chadwick
Born: 08/09/1952
Died: 01/01/2023
Location: South Charleston, WV

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Douglas Bartlett Chadwick

Douglas Bartlett Chadwick, of Hillsboro, West Virginia, died January 1 in Charleston, West Virginia, of pneumonia. Doug was a fine photographer in numerous genres, a filmmaker, a patron of the arts, and a kind and loyal friend with a keen sense of humor. He was 70 years old.

Born August 19, 1952, in Durham, North Carolina, he was the son of Donald and Betsy Chadwick of Union, WV. His father was a doctor specializing in public health and his mother a farmer who raised horses and cattle. The family moved to West Virginia in 1970, where Doug has lived ever since.

Doug’s work in panoramic photography established him as one of West Virginia’s premier photographers, well known for his longtime association with Goldenseal, the State of West Virginia’s publication focusing on folklore and history. He mastered the complicated techniques of a giant 1920’s model rotating Cirkut Panoramic Camera, which produces a 10-inch by five-foot negative and uniquely sharp contact prints. He used the Cirkut camera to photograph large groups of people such a state legislatures, a presidential inauguration, the 2004 Republican convention, car clubs, air shows, and many other events. His commissioned work kept him on the road a great deal, as he photographed a dozen different state legislatures in their chambers. He liked to say that he had friends in most states. His fine art photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums including the Huntington Museum of Art, where his photograph “Seafood Trucks on the Eastern Shore” won best of show one year, the Gallery at Sunrise, the Cultural Center in Charleston, and the Henri Gallery of Washington D.C.

Doug graduated from Washington’s Evergreen State College where he studied photography, with a semester in Rome studying filmmaking. He worked as a photographer for the Fayette Tribune, The Raleigh Register, and the Beckley Register Herald in the 70s. He delighted in making interesting photographs on mundane assignments. An artist in residence fellowship brought him to Pocahontas County in 1984. There he bought property and designed and built a home overlooking the Greenbrier River. He took countless panoramic photographs of the river and forest in all seasons.

In 1979 he co-produced the film documentary, “True Facts in a Country Song,” the story of West Virginia musician Everett Lilly and his Lilly Brothers band, which aired on West Virginia Public Television. He joined with B.J. Gudmundsson to produce four more documentaries: “Out of the Storm” (2001), in which a West Virginia lumber company goes to New England to salvage lumber after a 1938 hurricane and two communities bond; and three documenting the story of America’s last hand-set newspaper, the Pocahontas Times—“An Evening with Cal Price,” (2002), “Cal Price and the Pocahontas Times” (2004), and “Look What They’ve Done” (2006).

Doug had a lifelong interest in motor vehicles, as his art photos of old trucks, vintage cars, and tractors demonstrate. He became a beloved member of the Lotus car community, owning several of these lightweight sports cars handmade in England and photographing Lotus events throughout the United States. His technological skills combined with a unique sense of design and composition set his photographs apart from the usual.

For the last fifteen years Doug shared his life with Gina Schrader, photographer, gardener, lover of Appalachian old-time music, and like Doug an avid bird watcher.

Doug is survived by Gina, and by his sister Deborah Clearman of New York City, his nephew Sam Clearman of San Francisco, niece Tess Clearman and two great nieces Thea and Phoebe Deyle of Milton, Massachusetts.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Friends wishing to memorialize Doug may send donations to The Greenbrier River Watershed Association, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, or the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute, which is dedicated to introducing young people to classical music.

Memories of Doug may be shared by visiting www.snodgrassfuneral.com and selecting the obituary.

Arrangements are in care of Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.

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