• Melanie

In Memoriam: The historical collection of Elliott Ozment

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

Last year I had the privilege to work on documenting a large collection of historical documents, artifacts, and commemorative pieces for local attorney and Civil Rights advocate Elliott Ozment. It was the biggest collection I've photographed to date, and it was really a fascinating project. It took considerable self-control to not get lost in the articles and details of each piece, but I managed it and provided him with photographic documentation of the majority of his collection in his offices at that time (there are other pieces and collections that were being assembled but hadn't been put into frames/boxes).

Elliott Ozment in summer of 2017

Mr. Ozment passed away on October 16, 2018. He's left a long legacy of standing up for the marginalized people of society and his loss will be deeply felt all across Nashville. Click here to learn more about the life and legacy of this great man.


When we were planning the photo sessions of his collections last summer, we briefly discussed putting his collection of images up as a web museum for the public to see. Though we never were able to get to that project, I know he'd love for people to see what we were able to document. Scroll through below to see the historical collections from different areas of his office building.


Reception

Entering the office, there are tributes to books, movies, and people that made an impact on society as a whole in several different capacities. The inclusion of the presidents and locks of their hair is a fast introduction to what waits beyond the reception area.


Civil Rights Conference Room

This is literally and figuratively the center of Ozment Law Offices. An immigration lawyer, Mr. Ozment grew up in the segregated South and was in school when they integrated. The leaders of the Civil Rights movement and the unwitting victim that sparked the movement, Emmett Till, are all given their spotlights in this room.



Founders Hall

Passing through reception toward Mr. Ozment's office takes you into the Founders Hall. This is a commemoration of the men who were instrumental to the birth of the United States, as well as a nod to the only king America ever had, George III.


Elliott Ozment's office

The first office off the Founders Hall is Mr. Ozment's office. It's a feast for the eyes and brain of anyone who wants to know details about the history of the United States across the centuries.


The Lincoln Room

Mr. Ozment was a huge admirer of Abraham Lincoln and what he accomplished during his presidency. He has an entire office dedicated to the sixteenth president of the United States, as well as notable pieces from the Civil Rights movement.


Immigrants Hall

In a small hallway off the Founders Hall, there is a tribute to Ellis Island and the immigrants who came through her processing lines.

Presidents Hall

Commemorating some of Mr. Ozment's favorite presidents and important moments in the history of the executive office.


Restroom Vestibule

Mr. Ozment told me that he struggled with giving Andrew Jackson so much space, but decided the best way to overcome his difficulty was to put up a beautiful display of native artifacts and a commemoration of the history of the Trail of Tears.


Barack Obama/John Lennon

These items didn't have their own full displays, but the John Lennon jacket and artwork were on display in one of the other attorney's offices, and the Obama pieces were scattered throughout the office.


Mr. Ozment's collection is fascinating to see, and I feel fortunate to have been in close contact with items that not only represent the history of our country and culture, but that also meant so much to the man who collected them.