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Visions of Style and Progress
John Edwin Mason (University of Virginia)
In the late 70s, the University of Virginia inherited 10,000 glass plate negatives from the Holsinger Studio. Among them were 600 portraits self-commissioned by Black Virginians. John Edwin Mason sat with those images for years, dreaming up the perfect team to bring them to life. He found his team. Now, through the Visions of Style and Progress exhibition, Mason says that the images are transforming the way that viewers think about life for Black Virginians at the turn of the 20th century.
Holly Robertson (University of Virginia)
Light can be tricky to work with in installations. How Holly Robertson used the 9-foot-windows at the university’s Small Collections Library to bring Visions of Style and Progress to life.
LaToya S. Gray (Virginia Commonwealth University)
It’s difficult to imagine that the highway was someone’s home. But it was. LaToya S. Gray says a once thriving Richmond neighborhood known as the Harlem of the South fell victim to intentionally destructive city planners.
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