Harry Allen, DJ Mellow Dee (a/k/a Terminator X) Gets Swivvy (2 of 2), ca. 1980, From the Eyejammie Hip-Hop Photography Collection, © Harry Allen
Harry Allen, DJ Mellow Dee (a/k/a Terminator X) Gets Swivvy (2 of 2), ca. 1980, From the Eyejammie Hip-Hop Photography Collection, © Harry Allen

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its latest exhibition, “Represent: Hip-Hop Photography,” on Friday.

The exhibit, housed in the D.C. museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts gallery on the second floor, features photographs from hip-hop historian Bill Adler’s Eyejammie Hip Hop Photography Collection — acquired by the museum in 2015 — that reveal the early days of hip-hop and its rapid expansion to a cultural phenomenon in the mid-to-late 1990s.

The four elements of hip-hop culture — DJing, MCing, break-dancing and graffiti — are highlighted in photographs along with the genre’s historical images of iconic figures. The exhibition reflects how hip hop has evolved over time and its influence on Black culture.

In addition to Adler’s collection, nearly 60 photographers including Harry Allen, Janette Beckman, Michael Benabib, Al Pereira and Jamel Shabazz, and more than 400 photographs, are housed in the exhibition.  

The exhibition was previously featured at the museum from 2018 to 2019. It is scheduled to run until Sept. 25.

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