Fall 2013 - The Paris Albums 1900: W. E. B. Du Bois
The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research in partnership with Autograph ABP present:
THE PARIS ALBUMS 1900: W. E. B. DU BOIS
24 October - April 3, 2014
Exhibition Opening Panel:
Vanguards of Culture: W.E.B. Du Bois, Photography and the Right to Recognition
Thursday, 24 October 2013
4 – 6pm
followed by Gallery Reception, 6.30 – 8pm.
Curated by Mark Sealy and Renée Mussai
For the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, W.E.B. Du Bois, the leading scholar and civil rights activist, and Thomas J Calloway, laywer and educator, strategically employed 363 photographs in the American Negro Exhibit.
In retrospect, Du Bois’ remarkable collection of photographs - originally compiled for the volume, Types of American Negroes, Georgia, U.S.A - can be read as the origins of a visual construction of a new African-American identity. They provide an extraordinary insight into the conditions of black culture at the end of the nineteenth century, only thirty five years after the abolition of slavery.
Ranging in genre from mug shot aesthetic to bourgeois theatrical portrait, Du Bois’ intention was to produce a comprehensive, alternative view of the black subject, in his own words ‘an honest straightforward exhibit of a small nation of people, picturing their life and development without apology or gloss, and above all made by themselves.’
To mark the 50th anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ passing, Autograph ABP and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Researchpresent a selection of 200 portraits from this important archive to re-examine the critical question of representation in the 21st Century.
Presented in partnership with Autograph ABP
Image credit: Courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.