Photographer Wendel White will discuss his practices and approaches to history in a conversation with Keith Miller, curator of NYU’s Gallatin Galleries, on Tues., Sept. 21.

Sumner High School, a photo by Wendel White
Sumner High School, Cairo, Illinois (2007); Image courtesy of Wendel White

Photographer Wendel White will discuss his practices and approaches to history in a conversation with Keith Miller, curator of NYU’s Gallatin Galleries, on Tues., Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. 

To RSVP for this virtual talk, please visit the event page.

For over four decades, White’s photography has been an investigation of forgotten and violent realities that make up the racial history of the United States. In their conversation, White and Miller will consider several of White’s collections, including Manifest, Schools for the Colored, and Red Summer.

“Wendel White’s photography serves to address questions of memory, time, and power in ways that reconsider both history and the African-American experience,” observes Miller.

  • Manifest, a collection of photographic representations of objects, documents, photographs, and books held in various public collections throughout the U.S., highlights and preserves the nuances in African-American history through time, confronting slavery, segregation, and civil rights.
  • Schools for the Colored depicts the architecture and landscapes of formerly segregated school buildings along the northern border of the Mason-Dixon line. Recalling W. E. B. Dubois’ concept of the vast veil, White treats the landscape with a “white veil” while the buildings remain highlighted. When the building no longer exists, White inserts a silhouette of the original school or an imagined outline of what it might have looked like.
  • Red Summer is a response to the violent racial conflicts throughout the US between 1917-1923. Each print consists of a photograph of where these events took place and an accompanying newspaper fragment. The contrast between the traumatic injustices that once occurred and the apparently tranquil environment that exists within these landscapes today unearth the immense weight that time and place carry within Black history. 

Selected images and captions of White’s work are available on Google Drive

Wendel A. White has had over 40 solo exhibitions since 1984 and has received grants, fellowships and awards including John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography, the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and a New Works Photography Fellowship from En Foco, Inc. He has a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York and an MFA in photography from the University of Texas at Austin. White taught photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York; the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art; the International Center for Photography; and the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Art at Stockton University.

Keith Miller has been the curator of the Gallatin Galleries since it opened in 2008. Prior to that he was the founding curator of the SAC Gallery at Stony Brook University from 2001 to 2008 and has curated over 40 thematic gallery and museum exhibitions. His curatorial practice begins from the premise that the gallery is a site for engaged political conversation. He has been a part-time professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU since 2006 and was awarded the Gallatin School Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014. He is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2014 Jerome Fellow and works as a filmmaker, artist, and curator. His paintings and videos have been shown in various solo and group shows throughout the world.

The Gallatin Galleries, housed in New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, showcases innovative and immersive work that blends multiple forms of artistic practice with themes that encompass economic, racial, and social justice. Founded in 2008 and curated by Keith Miller, the Galleries are home to complex and compelling displays that integrate video, photography, sound, painting and sculpture, illuminating the work of both up-and-coming and established artists while reflecting the interdisciplinary academic mission of the Gallatin School. For more information, please visit its website.  

Keith Miller, Curator
The Gallatin Galleries

1 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003


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