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Rare photo exhibition at Indiana Black Expo

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The Indiana State Museum is drawing from the substantial Burns Archive of Historic Vintage Photographs for a 113-image exhibition, Shadow and Substance: African American Images from The Burns Archive, to be presented at the Indiana Convention Center during Indiana Black Expo, July 18-20.

According to a news release, the show will include "portraits, snapshots and photographs of celebration, tragedy and quiet joy, work and family as well as strength and perseverance."

It was organized by the Indiana State Museum and curated by Dr. Modupe Labode, assistant professor of history and public scholar of African-American History and Museum Studies at Indiana University.

Here's a look at three photos included in the show, with descriptions provided by the State Museum:

Unknown woman, C.C. Burns & Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1865, from a carte-de-visite. This woman lived while the Civil War raged. Perhaps she, just as many other free African American women, raised money for troops or had loved ones serving in the Union Army.
  • Unknown woman, C.C. Burns & Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1865, from a carte-de-visite. This woman lived while the Civil War raged. Perhaps she, just as many other free African American women, raised money for troops or had loved ones serving in the Union Army.

Civil War dead, photographer unknown, New Orleans, c. 1863. The bodies of a white Union soldier and a black man who fought by his side await burial. During the Civil War, fugitive slaves were considered "contrabands of war" if their labor had been used to aid the Confederacy in any way. Those found to be contraband were declared free by the Union.<p.
  • Civil War dead, photographer unknown, New Orleans, c. 1863. The bodies of a white Union soldier and a black man who fought by his side await burial. During the Civil War, fugitive slaves were considered "contrabands of war" if their labor had been used to aid the Confederacy in any way. Those found to be contraband were declared free by the Union.
Private Gordon, attributed to McPherson and Oliver, Louisiana, 1863. After an especially brutal whipping, Gordon ran away from his owner in 1862 and joined the Union Army. The image of his scarred back circulated in cartes-de-visite throughout the North.
  • Private Gordon, attributed to McPherson and Oliver, Louisiana, 1863. After an especially brutal whipping, Gordon ran away from his owner in 1862 and joined the Union Army. The image of his scarred back circulated in cartes-de-visite throughout the North.

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