Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 10th Gallery Program to Discuss Photographs of Tuskegee’s P. H. Polk

[Savannah, GA] – The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation, in conjunction with Savannah State University, is presenting The Photographs of P. H. Polk through January 25, 2010. Polk was a Tuskegee Institute-based photographer who produced powerful images of southern African-American life. A reception and discussion about the exhibit is scheduled for Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 3 pm at the Beach Institute, 502 E. Harris St, Savannah, GA. The Savannah exhibit is sponsored by the project “Building Capacity of African American Museums” which is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The January 10th program and reception will feature talks by Savannah-based photographer David Smalls, who interviewed Mr. Polk for a college research project; and Dr. Saundra Murray Nettles, whose uncle Ellie Lee Weems (1901-1983) was Polk’s student at Tuskegee Institute before becoming a prominent photographer IN Jacksonville, FL. Several graduates of Tuskegee Institute who knew Mr. Polk and who were even photographed by him have also been invited to share their recollections.

These reprints of 1930s and 1940s photographs by renowned artist P. H. Polk [1898-1985] represent three fascinating themes: African-American rural farm workers; studio portraits of upper-middle class black families; and portraits of Tuskegee Institute school associates, such as George Washington Carver, where Polk was the official school photographer. {Note: For images, GOOGLE P.H. Polk}

The Photographs of P. H. Polk is part of the Southern Visions: The Southern Arts & Culture Traveling Exhibits Program,operated by the Southern Arts Federation. Since 1995, Southern Visions has provided over 500,000 people with access to artistically excellent exhibits celebrating the South’s rich artistry and cultural heritage. The Photographs of P. H. Polk exhibit is made possible through the generous support of The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts with a special thanks toPaul Jones and the P. H. Polk family for making the exhibit possible.

About The Southeast Georgia Collaboration of African-American Museums

Coordinated by Savannah State University, the seven museums participating in this collaboration have agreed to three broad principles: building skills and knowledge, supporting partnerships and linkages, and developing elements that promote the continuity and sustainability of capacity building. Collaborators include the SSU Archives; the Beach Institute African American Culture Center and the King-Tisdell Cottage; the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum; the First African Baptist Church Museum; the Dorchester Academy Museum in Midway, and the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center in Portal. It has been awarded a 2008-2010 grant from the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS) for $149,700.

FOR INFORMATION: Dr. Ronald Bailey at


c/o Savannah State University P.O. Box 20187 Savannah, GA 31404 912/481-1409

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