EventsA History of Photography through a Southern Lens

A History of Photography through a Southern Lens

November 15 – December 13, 2023 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Location: High Museum of Art, Greene Family Education Center, Lecture Room
Registration Required

The South is hard to understand, and photographs taken in the South often belie a complex history. Slow down, look closely, and explore the history of photography as seen in A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845 in this multiweek art-context class. Featuring many works from the High’s extensive photography collection, A Long Arc presents photographs from pivotal moments in history and chronicles the South’s complicated history while revealing its critical impact on the evolution of the medium, posing timely questions about American culture and character.

In this class, Assistant Professor of Photography Nydia Blas will guide us through the history of photography, beginning with Civil War–era images and concluding with contemporary photographs. We will discuss a variety of images ranging from historical photographs taken by artists such as James Van Der Zee, Lewis Hine, and Gordon Parks, to more contemporary works by artists such as Sally Mann and Sheila Pree Bright. We will consider how these images and artists fit into the theme of “Southern art” and question what it means for a photograph to be considered “Southern.” As we examine the artworks, we’ll also explore the historical and technological developments that shaped the advancement of photography, and in turn, how these images shape our understanding of history.

About Your Instructor

Nydia Blas is a visual artist who grew up in Ithaca, New York, and currently resides in Atlanta, where she is assistant professor in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Spelman College. She also works as a freelance photographer for clients such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker. Her most recent exhibition, Nydia Blas: Love, You Came from Greatness, is on view at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University through January 7, 2024. She holds a BS from Ithaca College and an MFA from Syracuse University in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.


Know Before You Go

This class will take place at the High Museum of Art on Wednesdays, November 15, 29, and December 6 and 13. We will not hold class on Wednesday, November 22, to avoid interfering with the Thanksgiving holiday.

For more information, please email or call 404-733-5034.