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Wayne W. and Frances Knight Parrish Lecture

Dr. Deborah Willis, Guest Curator of Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social, and the Political in African American Art, Works from the Bank of America Collection

Wayne W. and Frances Knight Parrish Lecture

“Reading Art as a Metaphor”
Sunday, October 6, 3 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
Free with MFA admission


Dr. Willis is one of the nation’s leading scholars of African-American art and culture and is a talented photographer in her own right. She is Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. In 2000, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what is known as “the genius grant.” She has also been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fletcher Fellow.

Widely published, Dr. Willis is the co-author of Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs, which received the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Biography/Autobiography, and Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery. Other recent books are Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty, Black Venus 2010: They Called Her “Hottentot,” and Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present.

Dr. Willis has curated many exhibitions, including Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits, Imagining Families—Images and Voices and Reflections in Black and Engulfed by Katrina: Photographs Before and After the Storm. Her photography has been shown across the country. She holds a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art, an MA from The City University of New York, an MFA from the Pratt Institute, and a PhD from George Mason University.

The Parrishes donated many of the Museum’s most significant pre-Columbian objects, which are displayed in a gallery named in their honor. Mr. Parrish was a successful publisher of aviation magazines, and Mrs. Parrish was Director of the U.S. Passport Office from 1955-1977.

Event Details

October 6, 2013

3–5 pm

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