National Portrait Gallery Unveils "I Dream a World: Portraits of Remarkable Black Women"
Spotlighting those who have notably transformed the arts, activism, literature and politics.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. is showcasing an exhibition of portraits by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Lanker. Dubbed “I Dream a World,” the installation highlights acclaimed black women who transformed the arts, activism, literature and politics.
The first installment of the show, which was on view until January 29, offered an extensive visual archive of portraits of Maya Angelou, Leah Chase, Shirley Chisholm, Septima Poinsette Clark, Lena Horne, Barbara Jordan, Coretta Scott King, Constance Baker Motley, Rosa Parks, Leontyne Price, Beah Richards, Wilma Rudolph, Sarah Vaughan and Alice Walker.
The second part, opening February 10 until September 10, spotlights Mary Frances Berry, Elizabeth Catlett, Angela Davis, Katherine Dunham, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Althea Gibson, Dorothy Height, Odetta, Sonia Sanchez, Betty Shabazz, Ellen Stewart, Cicely Tyson and Oprah Winfrey.
Ann Shumard, the Senior Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, stated in a press release: “In 1987, award-winning photographer Brian Lanker launched an ambitious, two-year effort to photograph courageous, groundbreaking Black women whose lives and careers had left an indelible mark on the nation. We are delighted that these extraordinary portraits have joined the museum’s collection and will now be featured in this exhibition.”
According to the museum, Lanker’s “I Dream a World” series was a partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron.
Take a look at some of the showcased portraits in the gallery above, and visit the National Portrait Gallery’s website for more information.