African American Vernacular Photography




In December 2005, the ICP exhibited a selection of ephemeral images that together provide an important window into African American cultural life from 1860 to about 1930. Many of these more than 2,000 postcards, stereo graphs, cartes de visite, tin-types,albumen prints and gelatin silver prints have also been published in a catalogue that includes essays by Brian Wallis and Deborah Willis. This glimpse into the rarely presented everyday lives of African Americans through a variety of photographic genres and poses proves how photography can record personal histories for private use, while at the same time creating historical documents.