Fine Art Photography Daily

A Picture Gallery of the Soul: A group exhibition of over 100 Black American artists


©Kwame Brathwaite, Untitled (Kwame Brathwaite Self Portrait at AJASS Studios), 1964 c., printed 2016 Archival pigment print, mounted and framed, 30 x 30 in, 76.2 x 76.2 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles.

“Rightly viewed, the whole soul of man is a sort of picture gallery, a grand panorama, in which all the great facts of the universe, in tracing things of time and things of eternity, are painted.” – Frederick Douglass

The history of American photography and the history of Black American culture and politics are two interconnected histories. From the daguerreotypes made by Jules Lion in New Orleans in 1840 to the Instagram post of the Baltimore Uprising made by Devin Allen in 2015, photography has chronicled Black American life and Black Americans have defined the possibilities of photography. Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person and nationally prominent abolitionist, recognized the quick, easy and inexpensive reproducibility of photography. He presciently developed a theoretical framework for understanding the implications of photography on public discourse in a series of four lectures he delivered during the Civil War. Frederick Douglass was the subject of photographic portraits 160 times; he was the most photographed American of the 19th century.

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery, operated by the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, will open A Picture Gallery of the Soul, a group exhibition of over 100 Black American artists whose work incorporates the photographic medium. Sampling a range of photographic expressions from traditional photography to mixed media and conceptual art and spanning a timeframe that includes the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, A Picture Gallery of the Soul honors, celebrates, investigates, and interprets Black history, culture, and politics in the United States. The exhibition title comes from the Lecture on Pictures, delivered by Frederick Douglass in Boston in 1861. The exhibition runs September 13 – December 10, 2022.

The Gallery is located in the Regis Center for Art, East Building, 405 21st Avenue So., Minneapolis, MN, 55455. This is in the Arts Quarter area of the West Bank campus. Open: Tuesday and Friday, 11 am – 5 pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 am – 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm. Closed: Sunday and Monday. Please call the gallery or check the website for the most current Covid access information: 612-624-7530, There is metered parking nearby on the street, and paid parking available at the 21st Ave. parking garage and the 5th Street surface lot. There are bus and light rail stops nearby.

A companion exhibition of photographs made by students at the Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul will be presented in the Quarter Gallery at the Regis Center for Art September 13 – October 8, 2022

Hugh Bell_Sarah Vaughn_APGOTS_08_06_2022

©Hugh Bell, Sarah Vaughan, 1955 Lifetime Silver Gelatin Print, 24 x 20 in. Copyright The Estate of Hugh Bell.

Upcoming Events:

​​Thursday, September 15
6:30 pm
Keynote presentation online
A Picture Gallery of the Soul
Prof. Deborah Willis, New York University
Use this link to register:

Thursday, September 22
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Opening program with the exhibition curators
Mining the Archive of Black Life and Culture
Prof. Cheryl Finley, Cornell University
InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Use this link to RSVP:

Thursday, September 22
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Public Reception, Katherine E. Nash Gallery
Regis Center for Art
Use this link to RSVP:

Wednesday, October 12
12:15 pm
Spoken Word Event
Ty Chapman, Keno Evol, Andrea Jenkins
InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Use this link to RSVP:

Thursday, November 17
12:15 pm
Writers Reading
Mary Easter, G.E. Patterson, Davu Seru
InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Use this link to RSVP:

Goodridge Brothers Studio_Gertrude Watson Goodridge and William O. Goodridge Jr. 1883

©Goodridge Brothers Studio, Gertrude Watson Goodridge and William O. Goodridge, Jr., 1883 Inscribed in plate: “Age 3 months/Taken June 18, 1883/W.O. Goodridge Jr.” Tintype, 3 7/16 x 2 ½ in. University of Minnesota Libraries, Department of Archives and Special Collections.

 Artists in the Exhibition: Salimah Ali, Devin Allen, The Rev. Henry Clay Anderson, Jean Andre Antoine, Thomas E. Askew, Radcliffe Bailey, J. P. Ball, John L. Banks, Anthony Barboza, Ronald Barboza, Miranda Barnes, C. M. Battey, James “Jimmy” Baynes, Endia Beal, Arthur P. Bedou, Hugh Bell, Dawoud Bey, Mark Blackshear, Kwame Brathwaite, Sheila Pree Bright, George O. Brown, Nakeya Brown, Kesha Bruce, Crystal Z Campbell, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Micaiah Carter, Charles Chamblis, Vanessa Charlot, Albert Chong, Tiffany L. Clark, Mark Clennon, Tameca Cole, Florestine Perrault Collins, Bill Cottman, Adger Cowans, Gerald Cyrus, Louis Draper, Barbara DuMetz, Mara Duvra, John Edmonds, Dudley Edmondson, Cydni Elledge, Awol Erizku, Nona Faustine, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Al Fennar, Alanna Fields, Lola Flash, Krista Franklin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Russell Frederick, Tia-Simone Gardner, Courtney Garvin, Bill Gaskins, John F. Glanton, Tony Gleaton, Goodridge Brothers, Kris Graves, Walter Griffin, Allison Janae Hamilton, Lucius W. Harper, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Daesha Devón Harris, L. Kasimu Harris, LeRoy Henderson, Jon Henry, Chester Higgins, Bobby Holland, Mildred Howard, Earlie Hudnall, Ayana V. Jackson, Frank Jackson, Leslie Jean-Bart, Rashid Johnson, Caroline Kent, Dionne Lee, Fern Logan, Stephen Marc, Robert H. McNeill, Ozier Muhammad, Nancy Musinguzi, Bruce Palaggi, Gordon Parks, Ebony G. Patterson, Howardena Pindell, John Pinderhughes, Carl Robert Pope, Jr., Deborah Roberts, Herb Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Keris Salmon, Keisha Scarville, Addison N. Scurlock, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Jamel Shabazz, Harry Shepherd, Coreen Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Marvin and Morgan Smith, Ming Smith, Jovan C. Speller, Bruce W. Talamon, Elnora and Arthur Chester Teal, Hank Willis Thomas, Richard A. Twine, James Van Der Zee, Shawn Walker, Augustus Washington, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Deborah Willis.


©Shawn Walker, From Be-Bop to Illusion #1, 2010 Pigmented inkjet print Image 12 ½ x 19 in. Sheet 16 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Nancy Musinguzi_Son of Sons_2020

©Nancy Musinguzi, Son of Sons, 2020 Pigmented inkjet print Image 63 ½ x 42 in. Sheet 63 ½ x 42 in. Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition catalog for A Picture Gallery of the Soul, published by Katherine E. Nash Gallery and the University of California Press, provides additional context on the connections between Black American history and culture and the photographic process, from its inception to the present day. The catalog includes a full-page image, caption, statement, and biography for each artist in the exhibition, and essays by prominent scholars and artists, such as Cheryl Finley, crystal am nelson, Seph Rodney, and Deborah Willis. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Bookstore will have the book in stock.

 Herman J. Milligan Jr., Ph.D. is currently a managing Partner with the Fulton Group, LLC, an independent consultant firm specializing in marketing research, competitive intelligence, non-profit organizational development, and culturally specific initiatives. Dr. Milligan received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Milligan began the practice of photography in Cambridge, MA in 1971 and studied photography at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Department of Art when he started graduate school in 1972. His curatorial career spans over 47 years. As Student Director for the Midwest Sociological Society, he organized their first two Visual Sociology exhibitions (1979, 1981) and has curated exhibitions at various higher education and community organizations.

Howard Oransky is director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, operated by the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. With Lynn Lukkas he co-curated Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta, the first full-scale gallery exhibition and publication devoted to the artist’s filmworks. The exhibition traveled to the NSU Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, and Jeu de Paume, Paris. The exhibition was chosen twice as among the Best Exhibitions of 2016 by Artforum and the American Alliance of Museums awarded the catalogue, co-published with University of California Press, First Place for Art Museum Catalogue Design. He has a B.A. in painting from CSU, Northridge and an M.F.A. in painting from CalArts.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Kate and Stuart Nielsen, Metropolitan Picture Framing, BluDot and The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, whose generous support has made this project possible. A Picture Gallery of the Soul is organized by independent curator Herman J. Milligan, Jr. and Howard Oransky, Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. The exhibition includes a display of related historical material curated by University Librarian Deborah Ultan and a program of recorded jazz music curated by Herman J. Milligan, Jr. A Picture Gallery of the Soul is co-sponsored by the Department of African American & African Studies, the Department of Art History, the Department of History, the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative, the Office for Public Engagement, the Imagine Fund, and the University Libraries, including the Archie Givens Sr. Collection of African American Literature.

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