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Photograph from the

In 'What Matters Most," a remarkable collection of anonymous photos of African American family life from the 1970s to the early 2000s

Featured photograph, from 1976, is from What Matters Most: Photographs of Black Life presenting 175 out of more than 4,000 Polaroids from The Fade Resistance Collection—a collection of abandoned photographs found by the artist Zun Lee in Detroit, 2012. This powerful collection, on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario through January 8, 2023, highlights the importance of snapshots in Black American life: as tools to challenge stereotypes, and as a way to document family and culture. AGO curator Sophie Hackett writes: "Whether people find in them seeds for study, reflecting pools, spectres of anti-Black violence, catalysts for empathy, an index of loss—or experience them, over time, as thousands of private homecomings, individual and irreducible—may these photographs outlast us all."

IMAGE CREDIT: Fade Resistance collection. Art Gallery of Ontario. Purchase, with funds donated by Martha LA McCain, 2018. Digital images: © Art Gallery of Ontario. [Three people in front of red curtain], 1976. Instant print (Polaroid SX70), 10.8 x 8.8 cm. 2018/773

What Matters Most: Photographs of Black Life

What Matters Most: Photographs of Black Life

DelMonico Books/Art Gallery of Ontario
Hbk, 6.75 x 9.25 in. / 192 pgs / 175 color.

$39.95  free shipping

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