This is the Original and Only Harry Shepherd
March 3 - May 23
The Parthenon, in partnership with the Centennial Park Conservancy, present the exhibition This is the Original and Only Harry Shepherd in the Parthenon’s West Gallery from Friday, January 22 through Sunday, May 23, 2021. This exhibit is the story of pioneering twentieth century African American photographer and activist, Harry Shepherd.
On Tuesday, October 26, 1897, The Nashville American published a list of “Awards for Excellence of Exhibits” at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Among the Decorative Arts winners was a photographer from St. Paul, Minnesota, named Harry Shepherd.
“By the time of this award, Harry Shepherd was nationally noted for his photography and activism,” said Mark Medley, Parthenon Curator. “His profitable St. Paul studio served clientele of all races including the Minnesota State Legislature, educator Booker T. Washington, and Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. In 1899, his seminal photo collage, Our Unsung Heroes, created a visual interpretation of African American history demanding social equality. This work attracted the attention of activist W.E.B. Dubois and others who selected Shepherd to be an official photographer for the landmark American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris International Exposition.”
With its title taken from a slogan printed on his Victorian era cabinet cards, This is the Original and Only Harry Shepherd celebrates Shepherd’s work with enlarged photographic reproductions from the collections of Library of Congress and the Minnesota Historical Society, and video from the Minnesota Public Television documentary, Harry Shepherd: Portrait of Progress.Nashville Concert & Show Tickets
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