African-American Photography: Forget Me Not

Ivan Henderson
Ivan Henderson

On April 2nd, 2015, we exited our studio to conduct an interview on location at the Mechanical Hall gallery while we viewed the current semester’s exhibition: Forget Me Not: Photography between Poetry and Politics. We spoke to Ivan Henderson, Curator of Education, and Julie McGee, Curator of African American Art, who both explained that the gallery is dedicated to photography by African Americans, of African Americans, dating from the 1840s to present day.

We saw work from a wide range of artists, from Gallo Cheston to Wendel White, and the range of discussion was just as wide, from the role of studio portraiture in contextualizing historical photography, to how a single picture can depict a Renaissance man and advocate as an instigator in his own death – despite a street full of witnesses.

The discussion expanded into modern media and charter schools, and for those interested in this art or its accompanying implications, Wendel White, Professor Leland Ware, and Dr. Melva Ware will be a hosting Public Dialogue: Schools for the Colored, Thursday, April 16th, 5:30-7:30pm, at the Mechanical Hall Gallery.

For those wanting to see the gallery, including its reflective daguerreotypes with filigree frames, the Museums’ hours are 12-5 Wednesday to Sunday and 12-8 Thursday during the fall and spring semesters.  Admission is free to both university personnel and the general public.

Listen to the Interview

Ivan Henderson and Julie McGee
28.8 MB


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Photo by Morgan Dennison