Roots & Icons:

These iconic photographs by Earlie Hudnall, Jr. were featured In the recent exhibition African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond organized by and presented at  the Smithsonian American Museum in Washington, D. C.

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This continuous depiction of individuals in the richness of their everyday lives is what has served as the central inspiration for the art of Earlie Hudnall, Jr.  States the artist, “The camera really does not matter; it is only a tool.  What is important is the ability to transform an instance, a moment, into meaningful, expressive, and profound statements, some of which are personal, some of which have a symbolic and universal meaning.”
The exhibition African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond is currently on view at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia and will subsequently be on view at the Mennello Museum of Art in Orlando, Florida; the National Academy Museum in New York City; the Hunter Museum of  American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California.

Mr. Hudnall is one of forty-three African American artists featured in this comprehensive exhibition which also includes the work of John Biggers, Hale Woodruff, Renee Stout, Alma Thomas, Sargent Johnson, James Van Der Zee, and Benny Andrews.  All of the works included in the exhibition are from the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Earlie Hudnall, Jr. is a graduate of Texas Southern University and has served in numerous capacities as a photographer for the university since he was the TSU yearbook photographer in 1969.  Under the direction of Dr. Thomas Freeman and working with the Model Cities Program in the mid-1970s, Hudnall began to document the daily lives of black communities in the Third and Fourth Wards. Mr. Hudnall has served as university photographer since 1990 and during the past two decades, the photographs of Mr. Hudnall have become part of internationally important collections of photography.  Having studied art with John Biggers as an undergraduate, Hudnall was inspired by his mentor Dr. Biggers to document and celebrate the lives of everyday African Americans in their communities. 


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