A woman with dark skin stands in front of red cliffs dotted with scrubby brush. She holds a large format camera in front of her face.

Underexposed: Women Photographers from the Collection

For nearly all of photography’s 182-year history, women have shaped the development of the art form and experimented with every aspect of the medium. This exhibition, drawn primarily from the High’s collection, tracked this history from the early 1800s to the present. This was not a complete history of photography or of women’s contributions to it. Instead, we drew on our collection to present distinct arenas in which women contributed and often led the way: as a new breed of professionals who established leading reputations across the fields of creative photography, photojournalism, advertising, and documentary work in the first half of the 1900s; as avid experimenters with photographic processes in the 1970s onward; as keen observers of the cultural, political, and interior lives of other girls and women; and as conceptual artists exploring and often challenging social constructions of gender, race, sexuality, and identity.

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African American protesters in the spray of a firehose.

Road to Freedom

Coinciding with the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956–1968 is the most significant exhibition of civil rights photographs presented in an art museum in more than twenty years. These images were taken by photographers—photojournalists, artists, movement photographers, and amateurs alike—all of whom seemed to have a keen understanding of the significance of their subject. This publication presents a narrative of some of the key moments of the civil rights movement, including the Freedom Rides of 1961, the Birmingham hosings of 1963, and the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965. These are the unforgettable images that helped to change the nation, increasing the momentum of the nonviolent movement by dramatically raising awareness of injustice and the struggle for equality.

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white man stands with alone in a hazy field dotted with trees. He holds a banjo and has his back turned toward the camera.

Picturing the South: 25 Years

The South has long held a pivotal but uneasy place within broader American history and culture. Uniquely American musical and literary movements emerged here while many great political and social leaders hail from the region, yet histories of violence, disenfranchisement, and struggle dating back centuries also reverberate. For these reasons, the South is perhaps the most mythologized, stereotyped, and visually represented region in the country. In many ways, to understand America, one needs to grapple with the South.

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Detail of Nellie Mae Rowe's Nellie Riding a Chicken.

Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe

This suite of digital resources builds on the High Museum of Art’s 2021–2022 exhibition and publication Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe. Experience the exhibition and related programming, learn more about Rowe’s life and artworks, and explore multimedia content from the exhibition’s curator and other catalogue contributors.

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