Don’t Miss Kwame Brathwaite’s ‘Black Is Beautiful’ Exhibit


Photographer and activist Kwame Brathwaite’s work in the late 1950s and ’60s popularized the cultural slogan “Black is Beautiful.” And from June 27 through September 19, Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin will showcase Brathwaite’s images in an exhibition titled with those same powerful words.

“The exhibition’s photographs were selected and organized in three sections that underscore Brathwaite’s skill as a photographer and an activist who sought to create and celebrate African American community and identity,” notes Claire Howard, assistant curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art.

The exhibition’s 40 photographs, spanning from 1958 to 1970, include large-format color portraits depicting the African diasporic fashions and beauty of the models of Grandassa (an all-Black modeling agency that sought to empower women through self-presentation); black-and-white images of the vibrant jazz scene, community events and local landmarks in Harlem; and fashion, jewelry and ephemera such as jazz album covers and reproductions of vintage posters.