Exhibition Opening: African American Portraits 1900-1920

Community Life: African American Portraits from the Burns Archive 1900-1920
Ming Smith: Film Noir  

Feb 1- February 12, 2012
Reception Thursday February 2, 6-8pm
 This exhibition was free and open to the public.

15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003

     In honor of African American History month, The National Arts Club Photography Committee presented a two-part exhibition. A group of photographs by contemporary photographer Ming Smith and a series of historic images from Dr. Stanley B Burns’ collection were on view.

     These images supplement the traveling exhibition currently on display at the New York State Museum in Albany: Shadows & Substance: African American Photographs from the Burns Collection and Archive. Since 1979, Dr. Burns’ pioneering exhibitions of African American photography have documented the proud middle and working classes and community life that have so long been absent from visual and written history of the early twentieth century.

     Ming Smith lives in Harlem and has traveled the world with her camera. Her journey is “emotionally packed” as Gordon Parks remarks, in his introduction to Ming’s book. From her Ohio childhood to the large cities of America, Europe, Africa and Asia she “continually taps the intuitive and renders it in a form that is coherent and accessible” (Susan Kismaric, MOMA, Ming- A Ming Breakfast, Preface 1991). Her series encompasses topics including jazz, the black experience, Harlem, Native America, Africa and Paris. Ming Smith’s photography belongs to a tradition that adheres to the belief that the photograph is grounded in the artist’s experience of the world.

If interested in historical African American photographs you may enjoy in these posts as well:

New York State Museum Exhibits Historic African American Photos from The Burns Archive

Rare African American Photographs from the Ken Ogden Holdings Added to  Collection