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The African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
Went Looking for Beauty
Reception & Lecture with Deborah Willis, Ph.D.
Thursday, February 15
6 to 8:30 p.m.
Free & Open to the Public
Join us for a special reception and lecture presented in conjunction with Went Looking for Beauty: Refashioning Self, AAMP current special exhibition featuring photographs by Philadelphia born and MacArthur Genius award winning artist and scholar Deborah Willis, Ph.D. This event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a light reception and open gallery hour, which will then be followed by a presentation from Dr. Willis.
Through the exploration of two main themes, “My Friends’ Closets” and “Street Views,” Willis’ photos reconstruct an imagined past through images depicting its beauty, identity, and cultural memory. This project is a new way of looking at fashion, art, and women and men as consumers through the private space of the closet, the public space of city streets and through the beauty rituals of neighborhood beauty shops in her hometown of North Philadelphia and beyond.
Deborah Willis, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of slavery and emancipation, contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art, Hutchins Center, Harvard University and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Professor Willis received the NAACP Image Award in 2014 for her co-authored book Envisioning Emancipation.