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Tuskegee, Miss. State partner to present exhibition celebrating acclaimed African-American photographer P.H. P (285 hits)

Mississippi State University Libraries, in partnership with Tuskegee University and the MSU-based Southern Literary Trail, is presenting an exhibition celebrating the work of acclaimed African-American photographer P.H. Polk. Polk's work depicts early 20th-century African-Americans from all walks of life, including Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, and farm workers in rural Alabama. Housed in Tuskegee’s archives, the images have been exhibited at leading museums and galleries throughout the country.

On display March 4-29, “Unframed Images” is an MSU exhibition featuring 14 images that have been digitally enlarged and reproduced from Polk’s original works. Free and open to the public, the exhibition can be viewed from 7 a.m.-11:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m.-7:45 p.m. on Friday at Old Main Academic Center’s Louis Burns Brock, Jay Brock and Hank Brock Gallery. It also will be on display in the Grisham Room during Chandler’s presentation.

To mark the opening of the exhibition, Tuskegee University Archivist Dana Chandler will present a 4 p.m. program on Feb. 26 in MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room on Polk’s photographs.

Along with being a trained archivist and historian, Chandler is a Tuskegee assistant professor. He has served in a variety of capacities within the private and public sectors as a surveyor, civil engineer and project manager, helping to design and build projects through the South and nation. He also has worked with corporations seeking to start up recycling facilities in the U.S. and Latin America.

Sarah McCullough, MSU Libraries coordinator of cultural heritage projects, said the university is grateful for the chance to collaborate with Tuskegee on these two events, part of February’s Black History Month celebration.

“Polk portrays his subjects with an extraordinary beauty,” McCullough said. “More than 3,800 images from his huge collection were donated to Tuskegee and have just recently been available for exhibit, so many of his images have never been seen by the public.”

Chandler echoed McCullough’s sentiments, adding “P.H. Polk is the preeminent African-American photographer, and we are so thrilled to be working with Mississippi State University and the Southern Literary Trail in this endeavor.”

Based at MSU Libraries, the Southern Literary Trail project pays tribute to writers of classic literature in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. For more, follow on Facebook at

Learn more about MSU Libraries at

About Tuskegee University:
Located in Tuskegee, Alabama, Tuskegee University is a private, state-related and nationally ranked land-grant institution that serves a racially, ethnically and religiously diverse student body of 3,000-plus students. The institution was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington and is one of the nation's historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges since 1933, Tuskegee’s academic programs — many accredited by their respective accrediting bodies — currently lead to 41 bachelor’s, 16 master’s and five doctoral degree opportunities. For more information about Tuskegee University, visit

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MICHAEL TULLIER, APR | Senior Director
Office of Communications, Public Relations & Marketing | Tuskegee University
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Posted By: Elly Moss
Tuesday, February 19th 2019 at 1:55PM
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