Current Exhibition


Theaster Gates: Black Image Corporation explores the legacy of the Johnson Publishing Company archive. Curated by artist Theaster Gates (born 1973, lives in Chicago), this exhibition features photographs by Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton who were both renowned Johnson Publishing Company photographers. Gates reimagined and redeployed  images of women from the company’s rich collection. In this participatory exhibition, visitors will be encouraged to freely handle this extensive visual archive and invited to engage directly with these compelling and varied representations depicting Black women in their everyday lives, historical moments, and studio settings. Click here for the press release.

Images to the right – Courtesy Johnson Publishing Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Exhibition video of “The Black Image Corporation”
Osservatorio Fondazione Prada, Milan
20 Sep 2018 – 14 Jan 2019
Video by Giulio Squillacciotti
Courtesy Fondazione Prada


Play Video

Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., Director

Explore the United States premiere of Black Image Corporation with Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., Director.

Play Video

Makeba Dixon-Hill, Curator of Education

Explore the indelible impact that Black Image Corporation has made on our communities with Makeba Dixon-Hill, Curator of Education.

Play Video

Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections

Learn more about the intergenerational impact of Black Image Corporation with Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections.

Play Video

Daisy Desrosiers, Associate Curator

Daisy Desrosiers, Associate Curator of Black Image Corporation, discusses Spelman, discovery, and the Johnson Publishing Company archives.



Theaster Gates: Black Image Corporation Installation view at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art 2020

“Jet”, Ebony images on display at Spelman to illustrate celebrity, upscale black life” by Felicia Feaster (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Click here to read more

“Theaster” Gates Wants You to Browse This Archive of Black Excellence” by Lauren Deland (Frieze)
Click here to read more

Black Image Corporation makes U.S. debut with Spelman Museum “Quaint Revolt” Click here to read more
Black Image Corporation at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art exhibition opening.

made possible by

with additional support from

in cooperation with

Museum news & events