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Black History Month continues: Lecture, exhibition to spotlight acclaimed photographer P.H. Polk
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University Libraries, in partnership with Tuskegee University and the MSU-based Southern Literary Trail, is presenting a lecture and exhibition celebrating the work of acclaimed African-American photographer P.H. Polk.
In Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room, Tuskegee University Archivist Dana Chandler will present a 4 p.m. program Feb. 26 on Polk’s photographs, which depict early 20th-century African-Americans from all walks of life, including Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, and farm workers in rural Alabama. Housed in Tuskegee’s archives, the images have been exhibited at leading museums and galleries throughout the country.
Along with being a trained archivist and historian, Chandler is a Tuskegee assistant professor. He has served in a variety of capacities within the private and public sectors as a surveyor, civil engineer and project manager, helping to design and build projects through the South and nation. He also has worked with corporations seeking to start up recycling facilities in the U.S. and Latin America.
On display March 4-29, “Unframed Images” is an MSU exhibition featuring 14 images that have been digitally enlarged and reproduced from Polk’s original works. Free and open to the public, the exhibition can be viewed from 7 a.m.-11:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m.-7:45 p.m. on Friday at Old Main Academic Center’s Louis Burns Brock, Jay Brock and Hank Brock Gallery. It also will be on display in the Grisham Room during Chandler’s presentation.
Sarah McCullough, MSU Libraries coordinator of cultural heritage projects, said the university is grateful for the chance to collaborate with Tuskegee on these two events, part of February’s Black History Month celebration.
“Polk portrays his subjects with an extraordinary beauty,” McCullough said. “More than 3,800 images from his huge collection were donated to Tuskegee and have just recently been available for exhibit, so many of his images have never been seen by the public.”
Chandler echoed McCullough’s sentiments, adding “P.H. Polk is the preeminent African-American photographer, and we are so thrilled to be working with Mississippi State University and the Southern Literary Trail in this endeavor.”
Based at MSU Libraries, the Southern Literary Trail project pays tribute to writers of classic literature in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. For more, follow on Facebook @southernliterarytrail.
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