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>  News Releases >   2002 >   January

Black photography explored in Hood Museum exhibition

Posted 01/10/02, by Sharon Reed

The rich legacy of African American photographers is explored through the exhibition Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography: Art and Activism, on view at the Hood Museum of Art from January 12 through March 10, 2002.

With unmistakable compassion and a keen sense of composition, African American photographers captured the struggles, achievements, and tragedies of a tumultuous time: the civil rights and black power movements of the late 1950s and early 1960s. This exhibition presents the work of photographers who assumed the role of social activist and documented leading figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Billie Holiday, and many others. A continuing desire to raise social consciousness motivates contemporary photographers to chronicle the realities of life for African Americans today. Photographs of the 1980s and 1990s, many the results of the artists' personal engagement with their own communities, form the second major focus of the exhibition.

Included in Art and Activism are works by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Jonathan Eubanks, Jack T. Franklin, Robert Haggins, Milton J. Hinton, Fern Logan, Moneta Sleet Jr., Chuck Stewart, Chester Higgins, Jr., Ernest C. Withers, and many others.

Opening events will be held on Saturday, January 19 and will feature a special presentation by Smithsonian curator of the exhibition Deborah Willis at 4 pm in the Arthur M. Loew Auditorium. A reception hosted by the Friends of Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art will follow in the galleries. Other programming highlights for Art and Activism include an artist talk with featured photojournalist and New York Times staff photographer Chester Higgins, Jr. on February 1; and a musical journey into the history of jazz with William Cook, Professor of English and the student jazz ensemble Extensions on February 8.

Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography is organized by the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, and is circulated by Curatorial Assistance, Los Angeles, California. Its presentation at the Hood Museum of Art is generously supported by the Ray Winfield Smith 1918 Fund. Reflections in Black is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue available through the Hood Museum Shop. To order, please call (603) 646-2317.

Opening Lecture and Reception
January 19, Saturday, 4:00 pm
Arthur M. Loew Auditorium

"Picturing Black Culture," Deborah Willis, Professor of Photography and Imaging, Tisch School of Art, New York University, and curator of the exhibition. This lecture is offered in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Dartmouth College.

A reception hosted by the Friends of Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art will follow in Kim Gallery.

Artist Talk
February 1, Friday, 5:00 pm
Arthur M. Loew Auditorium

"Visual Wholeness," Chester Higgins Jr., photojournalist and staff photographer for the New York Times. His photographs have appeared in ARTnews, Life, Newsweek, Fortune, Ebony, The New Yorker, and other publications. This event is cosponsored by the Hood Museum of Art, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, African and African American Studies, the Advisor to Black Students, Shabazz House, and the Afro-American Society.

Gallery Talk/Live Performance
February 8, Friday, 7-9 pm
Second-floor galleries, Hood Museum of Art

"'My Thank-You for Music': The Jazz Artist as Hero and Icon in the Black Arts Movement," William Cook, Israel Evans Professor of Oratory and Belle Lettres and Professor of English, and Extensions, a student jazz quartet. Extensions will continue to play during a reception in Kim Gallery following the gallery talk.

Video Screening
Eyes on the Prize (1986)
February 13 and February 20, Wednesdays, 7-10 pm
Arthur M. Loew Auditorium

Eyes on the Prize is a photojournalistic history of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It records the spirit of Americans who struggled for racial equality from the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 to the Selma March a decade later. This entire award-winning documentary is presented in two three-hour segments.

Family Day
February 17, Sunday, 12-5 pm
Celebrating Black Culture
For children ages 6 to 12 and their adult companions.
For information, call (603) 646-1469.


Introductory tours of Reflections in Black are offered on the following Saturdays at 2 pm: February 2, February 16, and March 9.

Private guided tours of the museum are available for groups by appointment. Call (603) 646-1469 for information.

The museum will be closed March 11 through March 25.

Of Related Interest

January 21, Monday, 7:00 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Dartmouth College
Keynote Address by Myrlie Evers-Williams
Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center

The first woman to chair the NAACP, Evers-Williams is credited with restoring the association to its former status as the nation's premier civil rights organization. She has written many books, including For Us, The Living, which chronicles the life of her late husband, slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers. For an complete listing of MLK Celebration events, please call (603) 646-3749 or visit

- Sharon Reed

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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