Monday, February 9, 2009

NMAAH opens 'The Scurlock Studio' Photography Exhibition: Jan. 30-Nov. 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC -Nearly a century’s worth of photographs from the renowned Scurlock Studio form the backbone of a new exhibition designed to celebrate the legacy of a noted family of photographers and to present a vivid portrait of black Washington, D.C., in all its guises—its challenges and its victories, its dignity and its determination. “The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise,” a collaboration between the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History, opens Jan. 30 and will be on view through Nov. 15, 2009. It features more than 100 images created by one of the premiere African American studios in the country and one of the longest-running black businesses in Washington.

Among the portraits’ subjects are luminaries such as Marian Anderson, Duke Ellington, Ralph Bunche, Mary McLeod Bethune and Muhammad Ali. Many of the photographs show Washington as the mecca for leaders in African American business, culture and higher education long before New York City’s Harlem. They depict successful businesses such as the Underdown Delicatessen, prominent churches such as the Lincoln Temple, myriad community and leisure events such as a summer outing at Highland Beach in Maryland and sporting events at Howard University’s Griffith Stadium. The images are drawn from the Scurlock Studio Collection, preserved since 1997 at the Archives Center in the American History Museum and will be displayed with cameras and other photographic equipment from the Scurlock Studio.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, making it the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture.The exhibition is the first to be presented in the National Museum of African American History Culture Gallery, which is located in the newly renovated National Museum of American History. For more information, visit or call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).


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