Posing Beauty in African American Culture” opens Sept. 5 + #thisisbeauty (what do YOU) find beautiful?



Now on View


Charles "Teenie" Harris, Waitress at the Crawford Grill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, c.1952, Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20, © 2004 Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive

Posing Beauty in African American Culture

through December 7, 2013

Posing Beauty explores the ways contemporary understandings of beauty have been informed by the works of photographers and artists dating from 1890 to the present. It prompts rich discussions about the contested ways that African American beauty has been represented in historical and contemporary contexts. Click here to read the recent review by Harriette Grissom.

Posing Beauty in African American Culture is curated by Deborah Willis and organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. The Museum acknowledges support from:

Exhibition-related programs are made possible by
The Mary Alice and Bennett Brown Foundation, Inc.

This Week

Thursday, October 17, 7:00 pm
"Reframing 'Black is Beautiful'" a lecture by Dr. Deborah Willis 

Save the Date

This is Beauty Homecoming Reception
Friday, October 25, 2013, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


In celebration of Posing Beauty in African American Culture the Museum in partnership with U Salon, launched a campaign to find out what beautiful things people encounter in their daily lives. Join the conversation and post the beautiful things that you experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #thisisbeauty. Photographs posted by @Quistyle on Instagram have caught our attention.

New Acquisitions

Atlanta Celebrates Photography recently selected the Museum to be the recipient of the 2013 Bid to Give. At the annual auction, supporters of ACP contributed money to purchase Lament III, (2011) by Berni Searle, a sculptor, performance, and installation artist. To complement this acquisition, the Museum also acquired Lament II. Both are stills from Interlaced, a beautifully orchestrated, mysterious, and haunting video installation within which Searle explores the legacies of commerce, religion, and discrimination.

Support the Museum

As the Museum prepares to offer special opportunities and organize original exhibitions, it is appealing to Friends—both old and new—for support. Please consider making a gift to the Museum. Every gift, no matter the amount, is meaningful. Your support helps us realize and fulfill our unique mission as the only museum in the nation that emphasizes art by and about women of the African Diaspora.

Stay Connected

The Museum express mission is to expand knowledge about and access to art by and about women of the African Diaspora. Learn more about this unique museum, the Object of the Month, and more at museum.spelman.edu. For timely updates and advance notice about Posing Beauty in African American Culture, programs, perspectives from our #thisisbeauty ambassadors, and upcoming exhibitions, follow the Museum on Facebook at facebook.com/spelmanmuseum and on Twitter at twitter.com/spelmanmuseum.

Lauren Kelley, Pickin', 2007, Color-coupler print, 23 x 23⅛ inches, Courtesy the photographer


Tuesdays - Fridays
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Noon – 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, Monday, holidays, summers, and official Spelman College breaks 

Suggested donation | $3.00


Save the Dates

This is Beauty Homecoming Reception
Friday, October 25, 2013
3:00 p.m. – 5:00pm

Community Conversations
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 • 11:00 a.m

Harold Pride, Finance Manager, Spelman College + Music Enthusiast Sonic Visuals: Exploring "Posing Beauty's" Musical Connection Through The Eyes

Artists, faculty, staff, students, and Friends connection their passion and interests to the works of art on view in Posing Beauty in African American Culture.
Copyright © 2013 Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, All rights reserved.