Birmingham Exhibition Offers Alternative Portraits of Black Culture

Share Article

Intimate Interiors, an exhibition presenting alternative portraits of Black culture spanning mid-20th century to modern day, debuts at the Birmingham Museum of Art on Sunday, August 26.

News Image

Parishioners 1988 Gordon Parks American (1912-2006) Silver print Commissioned by THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS for THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS CENTENNIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION at the Birmingham Museum of Art 1988.5.5

By exhibiting alternative images, we encourage dialogue about the similarities we share while celebrating black cultural experiences.

Intimate Interiors, an exhibition presenting alternative portraits of Black culture spanning mid-20th century to modern day, debuts at the Birmingham Museum of Art on Sunday, August 26.

As a mixed media exhibition, Intimate Interiors presents 12 portraits of black subjects in intimate moments and spaces that include religious worship, bedrooms, and entertaining. Ranging from a depiction of elderly women at church in the south, to young people dancing the jitterbug on a Saturday night, the exhibition focuses on the intimate moments of everyday life in black culture.

“In such spaces, we are at our most comfortable, and oftentimes most vulnerable. The exhibition offers alternative images to racist images of blacks that we often encounter in our global visual culture,” says Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow, Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes. “By exhibiting alternative images, we encourage dialogue about the similarities we share while celebrating black cultural experiences.”

The exhibition’s opening coincides with the Sankofa Soiree at the Birmingham Museum of Art on Saturday, August 25. The 4th annual Sankofa Soiree is hosted by The Sankofa Society: Friends of African American and African Art and carries the theme Intimate Evening of Art, which connects to the exhibition Intimate Interiors. The weekend will begin Friday night with a reception and champagne toast, whereupon Sankofa Society members can meet and greet with the weekend's honoree, Theaster Gates, a Chicago-based artist and urban planner. The soirée on Saturday will feature a series of live musical entertainment, dinner, and a celebration of the Museum's African American and African art. Visit artsbma.org for more details.

Intimate Interiors is presented by Cadence Bank and will be on display until December 3, 2012 in the Museum’s Bohorfoush gallery, which is dedicated to the exhibition of African-American art.

About the Curator
Jeffreen M. Hayes completed her doctoral studies at the College of William and Mary in the American Studies program. Her specialty is contemporary African American art and visual culture. Dr. Hayes is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in African American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

About the Birmingham Museum of Art: Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has one of the finest collections in the Southeast. More than 24,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of Asian art, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cate McCusker
Visit website

Media