DAWOUD BEY: CLASS PICTURES
December 13, 2008 - February 21, 2009
Portraits Re/Examined: A Dawoud Bey Project
Beginning Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008, simultaneous exhibitions at the Walters Art Museum and the Contemporary Museum celebrate the works of renowned photographer Dawoud Bey. At the Walters, Portraits Re/Examined: A Dawoud Bey Project will feature contemporary photographs by Bey juxtaposed with historic portraits from the museum’s private collection. Dawoud Bey: Class Pictures, a companion exhibition of more than 40 of Bey’s portraits, will be on view at the Contemporary Museum. Both exhibitions run through Saturday, Feb. 16, 2009.
Portraits Re/Examined is the result of a three-week summer residency at the Walters during which Bey and a diverse group of 12 Baltimore-area public and private school students collaborated to curate the exhibition. The exhibition will explore how race, class, and identity have been addressed in portraiture throughout history. These themes became central to the teens’ experience and the project as a whole. The Walters’ collection is the basis for discussion about the role of museums in society and the relationship that contemporary art has in museums with historical collections. The exhibition will be on display in the museum’s fourth floor Centre Street Drawings Gallery.
To create Portraits Re/Examined, students worked with Bey to select historic drawings, paintings, and portrait miniatures from the Walters’ collection, positioning them alongside 10 of Bey’s similarly evocative portraits. The student-curators also will create auxiliary components for the exhibition, including a blog, Facebook page, podcast series, and cell phone audio tour.
Both exhibits open with a public lecture by Bey and his teen protégés at the Walters on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. The artist discussed his unique approach to portraiture and the process of creating Portraits Re/Examined.
On Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at 3 p.m. in the Walters’ Graham Auditorium, Bey will be in dialogue with fellow contemporary photographer Carrie Mae Weems. They will discuss both exhibitions as well as the range of Bey’s photographs from 1975 to the present. Admission to this discussion is free for members of the Walters, $10 for non-members, and $5 for students.
The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
The Contemporary Museum
100 West Centre Street,
between Cathedral and Howard Street