Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle brings four outstanding films on the long civil rights movement to communities across the United States. As part of NYU Washington, DC's celebration of Black History Month, The Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center will host screenings of two of these films, Freedom Riders and The Loving Story to revisit the history of civil rights in America and to reflect on the ideals of freedom and equality that have helped bridge deep racial and cultural divides in our civic life.
Join the Rebekah Jacob Gallery for a special, one night only, exhibition at NYU Washington, DC. Photos by Ernest Withers, Bruce Davidson and Bob Adelman will be displayed paired with a special talk and reception by gallery owner Rebekah Jacob at 6pm.
At 6:30pm, join us for a special screening of FREEDOM RIDERS, a film by Stanley Nelson, follwed by a panel discussion of the important role photo journalism plays in historical movements. Panel will include Deborah Willis, Ph. D, NYU Tisch, Arun Chaudhary (TSOA '04), first official videographer of White House, Rebekah Jacob and Christopher Wilson of the Smithsonian African-American History Museum. The panel will be moderated by Gerald L. Early, Ph.D of Washington University in Saint Louis.
One Night Only - Exhibition
Rebekah Jacob Gallery represents many eminent artists and estates from the American South. Each represented artist has exhibited widely in the US and abroad and is included in significant museum, corporate and private collections. Since its founding, the gallery has subscribed to the highest level of connoisseurship and scholarship. RJG adheres to a rigorous curatorial model and maintains an accelerated exhibition schedule, non-media specific, that features painting, works on paper, photography, and video. The gallery is located on Upper King Street, Charleston, South Carolina.
Christopher Wilson leads the Museum’s Daily Programs and its Program in African American Culture, and works to engage visitors in conversation about our nation’s rich and diverse history. As Director of Daily Programs, Chris created the Museum’s award-winning historic theater programs which offer interactive, personal presentations of stories of America’s past that resonate in the nation’s present. The director of the Program in African American Culture since June 2004, Chris also wants to enrich the experience of every visitor by offering them a glimpse into the rich history and culture of black Americans and an understanding that the American experience springs from many diverse stories.
Chris has developed many varied programs at the Museum ranging from lectures and panel discussions to family festivals and historic theater performances. Chris wrote and directed the interactive play Join the Student Sit-Ins which has been presented more than 1500 times since the Museum’s reopening day in November 2008. The program has garnered thousands of positive comments from the more than 400,000 visitors who have participated in it. The short interactive play presents the story of the sit in for desegregation that began on February 1, 1960 at the Greensboro, North Carolina F. W. Woolworth lunch counter that is now part of the Smithsonian National Collection. Join the Student Sit-Ins was awarded the 2009 Smithsonian Education Excellence Award honoring the best educational program across the Institution. Under Chris’s leadership, the Museum’s theater program team continues to develop and present interpretations of historic characters from America’s past ranging from well-known individuals to Americans whose stories are unknown to most of our visitors, but who were equally important in shaping the American experience.
Chris worked to create the National Youth Summit, a series of programs that convenes thousands of middle and high school students nationally and internationally around a historical topic with relevance for young people today. Most recently these programs have focused on the Dust Bowl in 2012 and Abolition in 2013. In 2011, Chris directed the Museum's programs in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides including the first National Youth Summit, which engaged thousands of young people nationwide with veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. In 2010, he led efforts to honor and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins including the Youth Town Hall with the Greensboro Four. In 2005 Chris created “We Shall Overcome: The 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights March,” a living history and musical tribute to the civil rights activists who put their bodies on the line to bring about the Voting Rights Act. He directs the Museum’s annual celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. Chris also worked on the exhibition Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life and managed the Lincoln Lecture Series which looked at issues faced by the 16th president that are still relevant today.
As Acting Director of the Department of Public Programming during the Museum’s renovation from 2006 – 2008, Chris led the strategic planning and concept development for educational programs for the general public visiting the Museum. He planned the programming for the Museum’s grand reopening and the overall daily experience for the first year following the renovation. Visitors encountered more floor staff, music programs, theatre, and hands-on opportunities when they visited the revitalized Museum.
Chris presented, planned, and supervised public programs and exhibitions for eighteen years at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, before joining the staff of the National Museum of American History.
Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies. She was a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and Fletcher Fellow, and a 2000 MacArthur Fellow, as well as the 1996 recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation award. She has pursued a dual professional career as an art photographer and as one of the nation's leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture. Professor Willis has just received the honored educator award at the Society for Photographic Education.
Exhibitions of her work include: A Sense of Place, Frick, University of Pittsburgh, 2005; Regarding Beauty, University of Wisconsin, 2003; Embracing Eatonville, Light Works, Syracuse, NY, 2003-4; HairStories, Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum, Scottsdale, AZ 2003-4; The Comforts of Home, Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA, 1999; Re/Righting History: Counternarratives by Contemporary African-American Artists, Katonah Museum of Art, 1999; Memorable Histories and Historic Memories, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1998; Cultural Baggage, Rice University, Houston, TX, 1995.
Her curated Exhibitions include: Posing Beauty which opened at Tisch in fall of 2009 and touring the country with the sponsorship of JP Morgan Chase and organized by Curatorial Assistance, 1968: Then and Now at Tisch and at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in fall 2008, Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits at the International Center of Photography in Summer of 2007, Engulfed by Katrina: Photographs before and After the Storm, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Imagining Families—Images and Voices and Reflections in Black. Other notable projects include The Black Female Body A Photographic History with Carla Williams (Temple University Press, Philadephia, 2002); A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. DuBois and the Photographs from the Paris Exposition (Amistad Press, 2003); Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers - 1840 to the Present (New York: W.W. Norton); Visual Journal: Photography in Harlem and DC in the Thirties and Forties (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1996); Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography (The New Press, New York, NY, 1994); and VANDERZEE: The Portraits of James VanDerZee (Harry Abrams Publishing, New York, NY, 1993). Her more recent publications include Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present (WW Norton, 2009), Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs (WW Norton, 2009 and NAACP Image Award Literature Winner), and Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot" (Temple University Press, 2010).
An expert in the diverse art and photography of the American South, Rebekah Jacob has created her gallery with skilled enthusiasm and a deep, personal knowledge of all aspects of the art market. Combining dedicated scholarship with practical experience, Jacob earned a B.A. in English and M.A in Art History at the University of Mississippi and later taught Art History with a Southern focus there and at two other universities. She holds a Certificate in Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts from New York University and is Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America.
Since its founding, the gallery has subscribed to the highest level of connoisseurship and scholarship with an in-depth focus on modern art and photography of the American South. Jacob has curated numerous exhibitions that explore contemporary artists of the American South, exhibiting artists as Kevin Taylor, Brian Rutenberg, Tarleton Blackwell, among others. Jacob has also focused on special projects that explore the Civil Rights and Martin Luther King era by exhibiting photojournalists James Karales, Ernest Withers, among others. Currently, Jacob and Monica Karales, Executrix of the James Karales Estate, are co-editing a publication on Karales’ Civil Rights images. Consistently, Jacob curates a multi-media exhibitions that brings together progressive artists of the American South-seasoned and emerging-who have expanded the conventional definitions of their medium, intersecting currents of contemporary art today.
Well-versed in the emerging art scene of Cuba, Jacob saw an opportunity to juxtapose the work of the two regions and has curated several exhibitions of Southern and Cuban artwork in both Havana and throughout the Southeast. Projects have included a show of Southern photographer Milly Moorhead at the 2000 Cuban Biennale and later at the Bacardi Museum in Santiago, as well as an exhibition of renowned modern Cuban photographers Alberto Korda, Roberto Salas, and Raul Corrales at the Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi. Spring 2008, in collaboration with the Center for Cuban Studies, Jacob curated a multi-media exhibition Beyond the Door at the Avery Institute, which included five Cuban artists living and working in the land of their birth.
At the helm of Charleston’s visual art and fashion scenes, she has been included in Charlie Mag’s “50 Most Progressive” and Charleston Magazine’s “10 Most Stylish” lists. Jacob has served as a founding board member of the Gibbes Museum’s Society of 1858 and as selected juror for publications highlighting top emerging Southern artists such as the Oxford American.
Always seeking out the very best talent through active roles in professional organizations, travels, and a strong personal network, Jacob strives to present a selection of high-quality work to a wide audience of art enthusiasts with her trademark passion and dedication.
Chaudhary was the first Official White House Videographer, a position created for him at the beginning of the Obama administration. Chaudhary traveled extensively with the President, capturing public events and behind-the-scenes moments as well as producing and packaging presidential tapings for the Internet and broadcast television. He is the creator and architect of “West Wing Week,” the first-ever online video diary of the White House. During his tenure, he wrote, produced, shot and edited over 63 episodes of West Wing Week, documenting the President through his rigorous weekly agenda. He also directed many tapings of the Weekly Address.
Chaudhary was a key member of Barack Obama’s New Media team during the 2008 campaign. As the New Media Road Director, Chaudhary oversaw the team responsible for capturing the day-to-day life of the future president in video and stills. He and his team set a new standard in documenting history, delivering crucial images to the public from the road in real time.
Before joining the Obama team, Chaudhary worked in film in New York and was part of the NYU Graduate Film Department faculty. He received his MFA in Filmmaking from NYU and his BA in Film Theory from Cornell University. Chaudhary has been profiled by the New York Times, the BBC, National Journal, Politico, Fortune, and many political websites. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, son and daughter.
Dr. Gerald L. Early is Director of the Center for Humanities, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, and a Professor of English at Washington University in Saint Louis. Since 1982, he has held various positions at Washington University, including Professor of English, African and Afro-American Studies, and Director of the American Culture Studies Program. Dr. Early serves on the Board of Advisory Editors of Oxford Companion to African-American Literature and is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Historical Society and the Advisory Board of The Antioch Review. He is the author of One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture and The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Award. Dr. Early received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.