Issue #144  5/9/2008
Anderson Mississippi Photographs Acquired By New Smithsonian Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, a newly formed branch of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the legacy of African-Americans in America has acquired a very important collection of African-American photographs by Henry Clay Anderson.

Henry Clay Anderson was a professional photographer who lived and worked in Greenville, MS. His business, called the Anderson Photo Service, was founded in segregated Greenville in 1948. What makes his output unique is the fact that he documented a virtually ignored chapter in African-American history: a proud, dignified community of middle-class African-Americans that existed in his town, both before, and throughout, the Civil Rights Movement. This community of black Southerners considered themselves first-class citizens, despite living in a deeply hostile America.

Throughout the 1950s, '60s, and '70s Anderson was called upon to photograph every aspect of his relatively prosperous community: the daily lives of the men and women who built the Greenville schools, churches, and hospitals; weddings; funerals; sports events; proms; itinerant entertainers; a wide range of professionals at work; and, of course, studio portraits of individuals and families. His work had strong political overtones, especially when he shot events related to the Civil Rights movement.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was signed into authorization by President George Bush in 2003, and Anderson's work comprises the first major collection acquired by the institution.

I Photo Central dealer Charles Schwartz, in conjunction with Shawn Wilson, were instrumental in saving Anderson's work for posterity.

A limited edition of images taken by the late Reverend Henry Clay Anderson are being offered in an edition of ten black and white gelatin silver prints by Charles Schwartz, the only known source of Anderson's oeuvre on the market. All were printed posthumously from Anderson's negatives by Laurent Girard. Prices range from $750¬to $1,200.

As a number of prints in the edition have already sold, please contact the gallery for an updated pricing structure.

To view the prints go to:

http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase_view.php/131/3/1 .

In 2002 Schwartz and Wilson organized the publication of the book Separate But Equal: The Mississippi Photographs of Henry Clay Anderson, with essays by Clifton L. Taulbert, Mary Panzer, and Shawn Wilson, published by PublicAffairs, New York.

Each print sold is accompanied by a copy of the above publication.

For further information and prices, please contact the gallery at 1-212-534-4496, or at cms@cs-photo.com .