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Book Review: “Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi”

Book Review: “Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi”

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020
7 p.m.

Join us for a conversation about agency, iconography, authenticity, and the archive. Please register here.

Participants include Rhea L. Combs, Ph.D., Supervisory Museum Curator, Photography & Film and Director, Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Art, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Myra Greene, visual artist and Associate Professor of Photography, Spelman College,and Holly A. Smith, Archivist, Spelman College. The conversation will be moderated by Theo Tyson, Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art & Culture, Boston Athenæum.

About the Panelists

Rhea Combs, Ph.D. is the inaugural Supervisory Museum Curator of Photography & Film at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). She also serves as the head of the museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA). Prior to joining the museum, Combs taught visual culture, film, race, and gender courses at Chicago State University, Lewis & Clark College, and Emory University. Her writings have been featured in anthologies, academic journals and exhibition catalogues on a range of topics including African American female filmmakers, Black popular culture, visual aesthetics, filmmaking and photography. @rhea_combs.

Myra Greene uses a diverse photographic practice to explore representations of race. Greene is currently working on a new body of work that uses African textiles as a material and pattern to explore her own relationship to culture. She received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Photography and has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse New York and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, and the Princeton University Art Museum. Myra Greene’s work has been featured in nationally exhibitions in galleries and museums including The New York Public Library, Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Williams College Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta, Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, and Sculpture Center in New York City. Myra Greene was born in New York City and received her B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico. She currently resides in Atlanta Georgia, where she is an Associate Professor of Photography at Spelman College.

Holly A. Smith is a graduate of William and Mary College and Yale University. Her background is in public history, library science and archives and prior to working at Spelman as the College’s Archivist, she worked at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in special collections. @spelmancws.

About the Moderator

Theo Tyson interrogates the sociocultural aspects of race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of fashion, its histories and theories. Her research is firmly rooted in historical and contemporary photography and the performativity of fashioning an identity. She uses fashion, art, and sociology to employ visual and material culture as an accessible, universal language to offer sartorial narratives that provide unique points of entry for civil discourse. Tyson, who has held posts at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, is currently the Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture at the Boston Athenæum where she engages and interprets their special collections through innovative and inclusive exhibitions and presentations. @ms_theotyson.

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