The South’s Back To The Future

In New Orleans, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is currently showing “A Place and Time Part II,” which the website explains “follows the trajectory of Southern photography from 1946 to the present.” The exhibit, which is a sequel to last year’s “A Place and Time,” will remain open until May 29. In the exhibit’s press release, the museum’s Curator of Photography Richard McCabe explains:

“As the ‘Old South’ transitioned into the modern ‘New South’ in post-WW II America, photography transitioned from being considered a marginalized art form into its present status that rivals painting and sculpture. [ . . . ] A Place and Time Part II chronicles those changes within the social, economic, and political structures of the American South, as well as the technological and aesthetic changes within Southern photography.”

When peering through the pieces online, I saw that it was mostly photographs based off of a specific setting, the Deep South, in the period after World War II. What really stood out in the exhibition were the types of photographs and art it displayed. They were either comprised of still lifes or people. The still lifes showed the peaceful side of the South after World War II, complimented with lakes and rural areas. The photographs of people showed what African Americans went through in their surroundings and how it shaped their culture. The images also gave me a realization of what the Jim Crow-era South was like, through the eyes of the people who were actually there. The Ogden will add some of these photographs to its permanent collection.

The Ogden Museum is open seven days a week at 10:00. Though the museum closes at 5:00 PM most days, it stays open until 8:00 PM on Thursdays.

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