ExhibitionsA Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845
A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845
September 15, 2023 – January 14, 2024
RaMell Ross (American, born 1982), iHome, 2013, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from the Marilyn and Donald Keough Family Foundation, 2022.159. © RaMell Ross.
The South has occupied an uneasy place in the history of photography as both an example of regional exceptionalism and as the crucible from which American identity has been forged. As the first major survey of Southern photography in twenty-five years, this exhibition will examine that complicated history and reveal the South’s critical impact on the evolution of the medium, posing timely questions about American culture and character.
Featuring many works from the High’s extensive collection, A Long Arc will include photographs of the American Civil War, which transformed the practice of photography across the nation and established visual codes for articulating national identity and expressing collective trauma. Photographs from the 1930s-1950s, featuring many created for the Farm Security Administration, will demonstrate how that era defined a new kind of documentary aesthetic that dominated American photography for decades and included jarring and unsettling pictures that exposed economic and racial disparities. With works drawn from the High’s unparalleled collection of civil rights-era photography, the exhibition will show how photographs of the movement in the decade that followed galvanized the nation with raw depictions of violence and the struggle for justice. Contemporary photography featured in the exhibition will demonstrate how photographers working today continue to explore Southern history and themes to grasp American identity.
George N. Barnard (American, 1819–1902), Ruins in Charleston, S.C., 1865–1866, albumen silver print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase, 1985.226.60.
This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor
Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
ACT Foundation, Inc.
William N. Banks, Jr.
Burton M. Gold
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporters
Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters
Mrs. Fay S. Howell/The Howell Fund
The Fred and Rita Richman Fund
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
Mrs. Harriet H. Warren
Elizabeth and Chris Willett
Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Farideh and Al Azadi
Sandra and Dan Baldwin
Mr. Joseph H. Boland, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Robin E. Delmer
Helen C. Griffith
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Massey Charitable Trust
Margot and Danny McCaul
Wade A. Rakes II & Nicholas Miller
USI Insurance Services
Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund , Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund , Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.