Friday, June 29, 2007

Let your motto be resistance.
from, an address to the slaves of the United States of America,
August, 1843

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits explores the history of African American achievement from the mid-nineteenth century to the present through the changing roles of photographic portraiture. The photographs, many by noted photographers and portraying distinguished subjects, establish a sense of place and identity and explore both aesthetic and vernacular styles. Among the subjects are such luminaries as actor, singer, and activist Paul Robeson; trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis; legendary singer Nat "King" Cole; performing artist Eartha Kitt; opera legend Marian Anderson; jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong; vocalist Sarah Vaughn; choreographer and dancer Judith Jamison; and Harlem Renaissance poet and writer Langston Hughes. The exhibition includes portraits produced by both well-known photographers such as Berenice Abbott, James VanDerZee, Edward Weston, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Carl Van Vechten, and lesser-known or anonymous photographers.

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