It’s CAA time and I am participating in a panel called “Photography and Race.” My talk is about race and modernism in interwar photography. One key phenomenon that I have noted is that lighting and shadow take on a metaphoric role beyond their descriptive function that gives visual expression to the period’s racial imagination in new ways. Older notions of race as biology and blackness and whiteness as material properties of the body are supplanted with more elusive codes that reside in the darkness and the light. That is not to say that move traditional means of visualizing race entirely disappear but the burden of representation is removed from the body in subtle but significant ways that allow for the articulation of changing racial paradigms. The preponderance of these shadows that limn blackness makes it difficult to select which images to show in my fifteen minutes. What a dilemma! Here are some of my current objects of fascination:
Carole Lombard by Otto Dyar, 1931
Anna May Wong by Hurrell, 1938
Katherine Hepburn by Ernest Bachrach, 1935
Model Helen Lyons Wearing a Dress and Matching Cape by Boue Soeurs, in Vogue, April 1922 by Baron de Meyer
Elsa Schiaparelli by Man Ray, 1930s
Josephine Baker by Huene, 1927
Nelly van Doesburg by Man Ray, 1925
Lillian Gish by Doris Ulmann, 1930
Delores del Rio by Ernest Bachrach, 1932
Author: Camara Dia Holloway
I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department.
Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.
View all posts by Camara Dia Holloway