ASU Museum to host civil rights exhibition

by George Jared ([email protected]) 473 views 

Through an assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, a traveling exhibition at Arkansas State University will trace how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.

Beginning Tuesday (Jan. 28) Arkansas State University Museum will host “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights.”

The nationally touring exhibition is made possible through NEH on the Road, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Adapted for the tour by Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), the exhibition continues through March 16 at ASU.

“ASU Museum gratefully acknowledges the A-State Office of Diversity and Engagement for funding the Museum’s presentation of ‘For All the Word to See,'” said Dr. Marti Allen, director. “This exhibition contributes to a rich program of events honoring A-State’s 2020 celebration of Black History Month.”

Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such as Life, Jet, and Ebony; CBS news footage; and clips from The Ed Sullivan Show. Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery — from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African American portraiture.

“For All the World to See” is not a history of the civil rights movement, Allen added, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.

Dr. Maurice Berger, research professor in the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, curated the exhibit. It was co-organized by the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.

Founded in 1972, Mid-America Arts Alliance is the country’s oldest regional nonprofit arts organization.

Admission to the exhibition and to the opening reception is free. Museum hours are Monday and Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Jill Kary at [email protected].