Video: Called to the Camera: Black Studio Photographers


From photography’s beginnings in the United States, Black studio photographers operated on the developing edge of the medium to produce beautiful portraits for their clients, while also making a variety of other photographic work in keeping with important movements like pictorialism, modernism, and abstraction. Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers illustrates the artistic virtuosity, social significance, and political impact of Black photographers working in commercial portrait studios during photography’s first century.

Called to the Camera is on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art through January 8, 2023.

Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and is sponsored by Catherine and David Edwards; Kitty and Stephen Sherrill; New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund; Tina Freeman and Philip Woollam; Liberty Bank; the Del and Ginger Hall Photography Fund; Milly and George Denegre; Andrea and Rodney Herenton; and Cherye and Jim Pierce. Additional support is provided by Philip DeNormandie; Aimee and Michael Siegel; Kenya and Quentin Messer; L. Kyle Roberts; the A. Charlotte Mann and Joshua Mann Pailet Endowment; Beaucoup Eats; Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Alexander; Deena Sivart Bedigian; Sesthasak Boonchai; Kim Boyle; Mel Buchanan and Lance Dickman; Claire Elizabeth Gallery; Pia Z. Ehrhardt; Jacqueline and Randall Hithe and Family; Rayne Martin; Colleen Mullins; Chantell M. Nabonne; Stephen Rosenfeld and Margot Botsford; and Tod and Kenya Smith. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Research for this project was funded by the Mellon Foundation and the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University.