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John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art: Artists and American Communities, Then and Now

  • National Gallery of Art - East Building Auditorium 4th Street NW Washington, DC 20565 (map)

Dialogues with artists and scholars held in conjunction with Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950. Conversations will explore some of the inspiring cooperative relationships between artists and American communities. Presentation topics will range from the history of government support for artists and community centers during the 1930s and 1940s, to the impact of community programs on Parks’s development as a photographer, to examples of how artists are working today. The exhibition, which will be open through February 18, revisits the meteoric development of Parks as a photographer, his social documentary, industrial, fashion, and film work, and the meaning of this work in picturing and representing the African diaspora.

Registration is free but required; register here. Seating is available on a first-come, first seated basis.

The symposium will be streamed live here.

Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head, department of photographs,
National Gallery of Art

Keynote Address: Boarding the Voyage
Robin Coste Lewis, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies, University of Southern California

11:20–11:30 BREAK

Artists and Communities: Then
Melanee C. Harvey, assistant professor, department of art, Howard University

Kellie Jones, professor, department of art history and archaeology, and faculty fellow, Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), Columbia University

Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History, Duke University, and Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art

Laura Wexler, professor of American studies, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and film and media studies, affiliate faculty in ethnicity, race, and migration, cochair, public humanities program, director, The Photographic Memory Workshop, and primary investigator, The Photogrammar Project, Yale University

Moderated by Anjuli J. Lebowitz, exhibition research associate, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

1:00–2:30 BREAK
Artists and Communities: Now
Devin Allen, artist and 2017 fellow, The Gordon Parks Foundation

Eric Gottesman, artist and cofounder, For Freedoms, and assistant professor of photography, Purchase College, State University of New York

Rick Lowe, artist, founder, Project Row Houses, and clinical associate professor of art, University of Houston

Maséqua Myers, executive director, South Side Community Art Center

3:30–3:40 BREAK

Moderated by Philip Brookman, consulting curator, department of photographs,
National Gallery of Art

Made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.