A Picture Gallery of the Soul
A Picture Gallery of the Soul
September 13 - December 10, 2022
The Katherine E. Nash Gallery presents A Picture Gallery of the Soul, a group exhibition of over 100 Black American artists whose practice incorporates the photographic medium. Sampling a range of photographic expressions from traditional photography to mixed media and conceptual art and spanning a timeframe that includes the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, the exhibition honors, celebrates, investigates, and interprets Black history, culture, and politics in the United States.
From the daguerreotypes made by Jules Lion in New Orleans in 1840 to the Instagram post of the Baltimore Uprising made by Devin Allen in 2015, photography has chronicled Black American life and Black Americans have defined the possibilities of photography. Frederick Douglass, a former enslaved person, and nationally prominent abolitionist recognized the quick, easy and inexpensive reproducibility of photography. He presciently developed a theoretical framework for understanding the implications of photography on public discourse in a series of four lectures. The exhibition title comes from Douglass' Lecture on Pictures, delivered in Boston in 1861 during the Civil War.
Keynote Address with Professor Deborah Willis
On September 15, 2022, Professor Deborah Willis delivered this Keynote Address to open the exhibition A Picture Gallery of the Soul. Deborah Willis is Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts and Director of the Institute for African American Affairs and Center for Black Visual Culture at New York University.
Public Program with Exhibition Curators & Guest Speakers
On September 22, the University of Minnesota Department of Art and the Katherine E. Nash Gallery hosted a public program related to the exhibition A Picture Gallery of the Soul. The program included remarks from the exhibition's curators Nash Gallery Director Howard Oransky and Herman J. Milligan, Jr.; a presentation titled Mining the Archive of Black Life and Culture by Professor Cheryl Finley, Cornell University; remarks from Adger Cowans, Photographer and Co-founder of the Kamoinge Workshop; and remarks from Deborah Ultan, Arts & Design Librarian and Curator of the Francis V. Gorman Rare Art Books & Media Collection at the University of Minnesota.
Spoken Word with Ty Chapman, Keno Evol, and Andrea Jenkins
Wednesday, October 12 at 12:15 pm CDT, InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Writers Reading Program with Mary Moore Easter, G.E. Patterson, and Davu Seru
Thursday, November 17 at 12:15 pm CDT, InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art
Artists in the Exhibition
Salimah Ali, Devin Allen, The Rev. Henry Clay Anderson, Jean Andre Antoine, Thomas E. Askew, Radcliffe Bailey, J. P. Ball, John L. Banks, Anthony Barboza, Ronald Barboza, Miranda Barnes, C. M. Battey, James “Jimmy” Baynes, Endia Beal, Arthur P. Bedou, Hugh Bell, Dawoud Bey, Mark Blackshear, Kwame Brathwaite, Sheila Pree Bright, George O. Brown, Nakeya Brown, Kesha Bruce, Crystal Z Campbell, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Micaiah Carter, Charles Chamblis, Vanessa Charlot, Albert Chong, Tiffany L. Clark, Mark Clennon, Tameca Cole, Florestine Perrault Collins, Bill Cottman, Adger Cowans, Gerald Cyrus, Louis Draper, Barbara DuMetz, Mara Duvra, John Edmonds, Dudley Edmondson, Cydni Elledge, Awol Erizku, Nona Faustine, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Al Fennar, Alanna Fields, Lola Flash, Krista Franklin, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Russell Frederick, Tia-Simone Gardner, Courtney Garvin, Bill Gaskins, John F. Glanton, Tony Gleaton, Goodridge Brothers, Kris Graves, Walter Griffin, Allison Janae Hamilton, Lucius W. Harper, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Daesha Devón Harris, L. Kasimu Harris, LeRoy Henderson, Jon Henry, Chester Higgins, Bobby Holland, Mildred Howard, Earlie Hudnall, Ayana V. Jackson, Frank Jackson, Leslie Jean-Bart, Rashid Johnson, Caroline Kent, Dionne Lee, Fern Logan, Stephen Marc, Robert H. McNeill, Ozier Muhammad, Nancy Musinguzi, Bruce Palaggi, Gordon Parks, Ebony G. Patterson, Howardena Pindell, John Pinderhughes, Carl Robert Pope, Jr., Deborah Roberts, Herb Robinson, Bobby Rogers, Keris Salmon, Keisha Scarville, Addison N. Scurlock, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Jamel Shabazz, Harry Shepherd, Coreen Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Marvin and Morgan Smith, Ming Smith, Jovan C. Speller, Bruce W. Talamon, Elnora and Arthur Chester Teal, Hank Willis Thomas, Richard A. Twine, James Van Der Zee, Shawn Walker, Augustus Washington, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Deborah Willis.
The exhibition catalog provides additional context on the connections between Black American history and culture and the photographic process. Co-published with University of California Press, the catalog includes a full-page image, statement, and biography for each artist in conjunction with essays by prominent scholars and artists Cheryl Finley, crystal am nelson, Seph Rodney, and Deborah Willis. The U of M Bookstore now has the book in stock.
The exhibition is organized by independent curator Herman J. Milligan, Jr. and Howard Oransky, Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. It includes a display of related historical material curated by University Librarian Deborah Ultan and a program of recorded music curated by Herman J. Milligan, Jr. A Picture Gallery of the Soul is co-sponsored by the Department of African American & African Studies, the Department of Art History, the Department of History, the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative, the Office for Public Engagement, the Imagine Fund, and the University Libraries, including the Archie Givens Sr. Collection of African American Literature. The organizers gratefully acknowledge The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Kate and Stuart Nielsen, Metropolitan Picture Framing, BluDot and The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, whose generous support has made this project possible.
The Eyes See What the Heart Feels: From the Archives of Photographer & Painter Adger Cowans
September 12, 2022 - January 31, 2023
Elmer L. Andersen Library
Exhibition co-curator Herman J. Milligan, Jr. has compiled a jazz-inspired playlist to accompany the exhibition. 113 songs, 16+ hours, and well worth a listen – click here to access the playlist on Spotify.
The Gallery is located in the Regis Center for Art, East Building, 405 21st Avenue So., Minneapolis, MN, 55455. This is in the Arts Quarter area of the West Bank campus.
Open: Tuesday and Friday, 11 am – 5 pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 am – 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm. Closed: Sunday and Monday. Regis Center for Art is U-Card access only; please call the Gallery Attendant Desk for entry.
Gallery Attendant Desk
Parking & Public Transit
Learn more about the parking options below:
21st Avenue South ramp
5th Street South lot
19th Avenue South ramp
The Gallery is accessible via Metro Transit buses and light rail lines. For your best route, visit Metro Transit Trip Planner.
Regis Center for Art is accessible to visitors who use mobility devices or prefer to avoid stairs. Service animals are welcome in the gallery.
A fully accessible, gender neutral restroom is available on the 2nd floor of the Regis Center for Art (West). To access this restroom, take the elevator to the 2nd floor and proceed across the skyway towards Regis West. As you exit the skyway the restroom will be directly across from you. Fully accessible gendered restrooms are located directly to the left hand side when exiting the gallery on the first floor of Regis Center for Art (East).
Large bags and backpacks must be left at the gallery front desk with the attendant. In order to protect the art, no food or drink is allowed in the gallery.
The Katherine E. Nash Gallery is a research laboratory for the practice and interpretation of the visual arts.
We believe the visual arts have the capacity to interpret, critique, and expand on all of human experience. Our engagement with the visual arts helps us to discover who we are and understand our relationships to each other and society.
The Katherine E. Nash Gallery will be a center of discourse on the practice of visual art and its relationship to culture and community — a place where we examine our assumptions about the past and suggest possibilities for the future.
The Nash Gallery will play an indispensable role in the educational development of students, faculty, staff, and the community.
Professor Katherine "Katy" E. Nash (1910–1982), a faculty member of the Department of Art from 1961–1976, proposed that the Student Union create a university art gallery. Founded in 1979, the gallery moved to its current location in the Regis Center for Art in 2003. Learn more about the remarkable life and work of Professor Nash.