Nationally Touring Civil Rights Exhibition Opens November 2021 at Ella Sharp Museum
“…we had averted our eyes for far too long, turning away from the ugly reality facing us as a nation. Let the world see what I’ve seen.” – Mamie Till Bradley
In September 1955, shortly after fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi, his grieving mother, Mamie Till Bradley, distributed to newspapers and magazines a gruesome black-and-white photograph of his mutilated corpse. The mainstream media rejected the photograph as inappropriate for publication, but Bradley was able to turn to African-American periodicals for support. Asked why she would do this, Bradley explained that by witnessing, with their own eyes, the brutality of segregation, Americans would be more likely to support the cause of civil rights.
For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights is a nationally touring exhibition from NEH on the Road. The exhibition is hosted by Ella Sharp Museum and Jackson School of the Arts and opens to the public on November 10 at Ella Sharp Museum.
Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, the exhibition traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.
Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such as LIFE, JET, and EBONY; CBS news footage; and TV clips from The Ed Sullivan Show. Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery—from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African American portraiture.
For All the World to See is not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.
“This exhibition brings an opportunity to bridge visuals and history with contemporary themes,” says Julie Johnson, Executive Director of Ella Sharp Museum. “It also allows us to provide visitors with a space to have relevant, meaningful conversations surrounding these themes.”
Plan your visit now at ellasharpmuseum.org/visit and learn about current and future exhibitions at ellasharpmuseum.org/exhibits.
Exhibit: For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights
Host Organization: Ella Sharp Museum and Jackson School of the Arts
Exhibit Location: Ella Sharp Museum, 3225 Fourth St, Jackson, MI 49203
On View: November 10, 2021 – January 8, 2021
Museum Admission: Adults: $5; Children: $3; Museum Members and Children Under 5: Free. Admission includes access to the Jackson History Gallery, Jackson & the Roaring 20s exhibit, The Magnificent Obsession, and the Never Enough Time Gallery.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays 12 – 5 p.m.
The For All the World to See exhibition and exhibit programming is made possible by community support from Henry Ford Allegiance Health and Jackson Community Foundation.
“We are excited to partner with our community and Ella Sharp Museum to bring a nationally touring exhibition to Jackson,” says Carolyn Moser, Executive Director of Jackson School of the Arts. “Both Jackson School of the Arts and Ella Sharp Museum are committed to providing our community with access to arts and culture.”
For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights was curated by Dr. Maurice Berger, Research Professor, The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore. It was co-organized by The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. For All the World to See has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). Founded in 1972, Mid-America Arts Alliance is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the United States. For more information, visit www.maaa.org or www.nehontheroad.org.
- On October 19, 2021