Reckonings and Reconstructions: Southern Photography on View at the Figge Art Museum

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Andrea Morales (b. 1984), “Southern Heritage Classic Parade,” 2017. Inkjet print, 14 1/2 × 21 3/4 inches. The Do Good Fund, Inc., 2020–34. © Andrea Morales.
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Davenport, IA – An exhibition celebrating the ever-changing American South through  the lenses of over 60 diverse photographers is now on view at the Figge Art Museum

Reckonings and Reconstructions: Southern Photography from the Do Good Fund surveys the Do Good Fund’s sweeping photography collection to tease apart the tangled cultural memory of the American South. The show features 102 photographs by 61 artists, diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, and geography. They range from emerging artists to Guggenheim Fellows and testify to the Fund’s support in recent years of young photographers and artists of color. The exhibition includes works by renowned photographers Debbie Fleming Caffery, Rosalind Fox Solomon, Shelby Lee Adams, Sheila Pree Bright, William Christenberry, Chandra McCormick and Gordon Parks. 

The exhibition explores life in the South, unfolding with themes of land, labor, law and protest, food, ritual and kinship. These themes reflect the South’s history where despair and hope, terror and beauty, pain and joy and indignity and dignity commingle. Together these images present the changing nature of the South and its people, highlighting efforts for renewal and the community’s shared experiences. 

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Providing a scholarly investigation of southern photography since World War II, the images serve as both a reckoning with the past and a vision for future restoration and repair. They confront history, take stock of it and emphasize the need for change. 

“This exhibition offers a profound exploration of Southern culture and heritage, capturing the complexity and resilience of the region and its people,” said Senior Co-Curator Vanessa Sage. “These powerful images reflect on historical legacies and envision a future defined by healing and community.” 

Organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. The exhibition program is supported in part by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation, and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. 

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Reckonings and Reconstructions: Southern Photography from the Do Good Fund is locally sponsored by The Brian Pasierb Family Foundation, Carolyn Levine & Leonard Kallio Trust and KLJB FOX 18. The exhibition will be on view through September 8, 2024. 

Sheila Pree Bright (b. 1967), “#SayHerName (Young Man Crying),” from “#1960Now” series, 2016. Archival pigment print, 30 × 30 inches. The Do Good Fund, Inc., 2019–25.

About the Do Good Fund

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The Do Good Fund, Inc. is a Columbus, Georgia based public charity. Since its founding in 2012, the fund has focused on building a museum-quality collection of photographs taken in the American South since World War II. The collection ranges from works by more than twenty Guggenheim Fellows to images by lesser known and emerging photographers working in the region. Do Good’s mission is to make its collection of more than 800 images broadly accessible through regional museums, nonprofit galleries, and nontraditional venues and to encourage complementary, community-based programming to accompany each exhibition. 

About the Figge Art Museum: 

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The Figge Art Museum is dedicated to bringing art and people together. Located on the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street, the Figge is the premier art exhibition and education facility between Chicago and Des Moines. Its landmark glass building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections and presents world-class exhibitions, art classes, lectures and special events that attract visitors of all ages. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays. Reservations are not required but can be made at www.figgeartmuseum.org or by calling 563-345-6632. Admission to the museum is $14 for adults, $10 for seniors and students with ID and $8 children ages 4-12. Admission is free to children under 4, Figge members, institutional members and to all on Thursday evenings. You can become a member for as little as $50 by visiting the Figge website. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.

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