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Small Towns, Black Lives

White, Wendel A.

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ISBN 10: 0972395105 / ISBN 13: 9780972395106
Edité par NOYES MUSEUM OF ART, NJ, 2003
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A propos de cet article

DATE PUBLISHED: 2003 EDITION: FIRST ED 180. N° de réf. du libraire 089105

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Small Towns, Black Lives


Date d'édition : 2003



Edition : FIRST ED.

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

A single photographic print may be "news", a "portrait," "art," or, "documentary," or any of these, all of them, or none. Among the tools of social science graphs, statistics, maps, and text documentation by photograph now is assuming place.

Dorothea Lange, 1940

The photographs in Wendel White’s Small Towns, Black Lives are the kinds of hybrids Lange described and anticipated in her statement. The exhibition and book form a personal album revealing the layers of meaning and history that he carefully uncovered. His project to document African American communities in southern New Jersey began in much the same way that many photographers before him had set out to record a place or people.

Neither stridently documentary nor self-consciously arty, White’s images straddle two worlds. They adopt the cool reserve of certain recent fine art photographers – Lewis Baltz, for example. Yet he is also true to the sincere lens of many of photography’s great documentarians—such as Lange or Jacob Riis, who documented the horrid slum conditions in New York’s Lower East Side or Lewis Hine, who took part in the influential Farm Security Administration documentary project from 1937 to 1942. White has produced a body of work that is uniquely personal and profoundly informative. His photographs thoughtfully ask us to look without preconceptions at the history he has uncovered.

Charles Ashley Stainback, Curator

From the Publisher:

As the Noyes Museum of Art marks its twentieth anniversary, it is appropriate that it should focus the public’s attention on art of exceptional quality and powerful voice, an artist of merit, themes of cultural and social relevance, and the region it serves. With Wendel A. White’s work in Small Towns, Black Lives: African American Communities in Southern New Jersey, the Noyes Museum has found a perfect conjunction of these ideal focal qualities.

White’s journey for Small Towns began in 1989, shortly after he relocated to the area to take a teaching position at Richard Stockton College. From his first visit to Cape May County’s Whitesboro, a community founded by black entrepreneurs in the post-Reconstruction era, White realized there was more to the story. Indeed, what has evolved is the visual product of an artist’s passion for his subject, but he has also added many other ingredients – including interviews, history, and a sense of place. While the story White has unfolded is unique, one finds themes that transcend a specific locale and speak to the experience not only of a people, but of a nation.

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