Portraits of Community: African American Photography in Texas

organized by Documentary Arts, Inc.

About

Portraits of Community provides a broad overview of African American photography in Texas over the last century. The photographers include Calvin Littlejohn (Fort Worth), A.B. Bell, Marion Butts, George Keaton, and Carl Sidle (Dallas), Curis Humphrey (Tyler), A.C. Teal, Elnora Frazier, Juanita Williams, Rodney Evans, Earlie Hudnall, Jr., Herbert Provost, Benny Joseph, and Louise Martin (Houston), and Morris Crawford and Robert Whitby (Austin). To elaborate the historical context of the work of these photographers, the exhibition includes tintypes and other photographs of African Americans collected around the state. In most instances, the photographers who made these early images are unknown.

The exhibiton curator is Dr. Alan Govenar, who traveled around the state between 1984 and 1994, interviewing photographers and acquiring vintage prints of their work wherever possible. Some of the prints are contemporary and were made in collaboration with the photographers.

Portraits of Community provides a broad overview of African American photography in Texas over the last century. However, many more black photographers were at work in the state. Among these are R.C. Hickman (b. 1922) in Dallas and John E. Palmer (1891-1964) in Galveston, whose collections are available for public use in archives at the Center for American History and Humanities Research Center, respectively, at the University of Texas at Austin. The emphasis in this exhibition is upon those photographers who are relatively unrecognized. This exhibition is comprehensive in scope, but not definitive.

Interested in this show?kiosk

If you are interested in having "Portraits of Community" tour to your institution or cultural organziation, please contact us. Tour dates are still available.

Video

Watch a clip from "The Photography of Curtis Humphrey," a photographer featured in this exhibit.