“I Dream a World: Selections from Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women,” are breathtaking portraits of African American women representing many walks of life.
On the second floor of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the exhibition, a portion of a 75-piece photo collection, is on display until Sept. 10. Further, curatorial choices create an interesting conversation, with 25 images from the full collection of “Remarkable Black Women,” exhibited near the “One Life: Frederick Douglass” exhibition, which offers varying African American perspectives and tales to capture visitors.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Lanker took the photos that were first seen in his book “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.” The cover photo of the book was of Septima Poinsette Clark, an African American educator and civil rights activist who was called the “Mother of the Movement.”
“She is emblematic for the exhibition, which first premiered in 1989 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.,” said Ann M. Shumard, senior curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery. “The exhibition traveled extensively.”
A relatively recent acquisition, the complete group of 75 portraits, was secured by the National Portrait Gallery in 2020 during the pandemic.
“It was a wonderful, inspiring project to work on during such dark days,” said Shumard.