This exhibition presents photographer Lee Friedlander’s images of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, a critical yet generally neglected moment in American civil rights history. On May 17, 1957—the third anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, which outlawed segregation in public schools—thousands of activists, including many leaders from religious, social, educational, labor, and political spheres, united in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C. At this first large-scale gathering of African Americans on the National Mall, an event that was a forerunner of the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, protesters called on federal authorities to enforce desegregation, support voting rights, and combat racial violence. Friedlander photographed many of the illustrious figures who attended or spoke at the march, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Mahalia Jackson, and Harry Belafonte, and he wove among the demonstrators on the ground to capture the energy and expressions of the day.
Exhibition organized by La Tanya S. Autry, the Marcia Brady Tucker Senior Fellow, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. Made possible by the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund and the James Maloney ‘72 Fund for Photography.
Drawing from the Picker Art Gallery’s permanent collection along with selected works from the Longyear Museum of Anthropology, this exhibition explores how artists have engaged with the body as subject and as metaphor. Embodied considers the social and political meanings of the body, particularly issues of identity, gender, and race. How have external structures shaped our perceptions of the body, and what are the implications for how we interpret bodies in contemporary society?
The exhibition will include works on paper, sculpture, and photography by artists such as Diane Arbus, Alexander Archipenko, Paul Cézanne, Claude Cahun, and Philip Pearlstein, as well as African and Pre-Columbian objects depicting the human form.