Black American Portraits (very limited capacity)

Spanning over two centuries from c. 1800 to the present day, this selection of approximately 150 works draws primarily from LACMA’s permanent collection and highlights emancipation and early studio photography, scenes from the Harlem Renaissance, portraits from the Civil Rights and Black Power eras, and multiculturalism of the 1990s. Black American Portraits chronicles the ways in which Black Americans have used portraiture to envision themselves in their own eyes. Countering a visual culture that often demonizes Blackness and fetishizes the spectacle of Black pain, these images center love, abundance, family, community, and exuberance. RSVP to vsri@usc.edu required.

Image credit: 

James Van Der Zee, Atlantic City, 1930, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Emerald and Harriet Merrill, © James Van Der Zee Estate, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

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