Exhibition Opens: Interpreting America


Tue. Aug. 13th 10:00 AM - Tue. Aug. 13th 5:00 PM

Drawn from the Weatherspoon’s stellar collection, these photographs illustrate what artists have had to say about American culture from the late 19th- to the early twenty-first century. The exhibition was organized in conjunction with UNCG’s class, History of Photography 350, whose goal this fall is to think about the flexibility of the term “American” as an identifier for photographic practice. The period spanned by these images shows tremendous change—from civil war battles, western expansion vistas, and class and racial divisions to life in rural America today, increased economic prosperity, and hints of cultural alienation. Photographs such as these have shaped our ever-evolving definition of what the terms “America” and “American” mean—through the pictorial images themselves and via our interpretations of them, both at the time of their fabrication and present-day.

Image: Shelby Lee Adams, Martha and Kizzie in Pink Room (detail), 2008. Archival digital pigment print,11 x 14 in. Edition 1/10. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro. Gift of Shelby Lee Adams; 2023.3.3. © Shelby Lee Adams