Studio portraits. Snapshots of every day life. Found Polaroids. Portland Art Museum brings them all together in a new exhibit, Representing, devoted to photographs that were taken by, for, and of African Americans.

The photos span the 1800s through the 1990s, and include portraits from the estate of prominent North Portland couple, Carl and Judge Mercedes Deiz. Carl was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II, and Mercedes was the first black woman to be admitted to the Oregon State Bar. Their turn of the century studio portraits are shown alongside vernacular snapshots of mid-20th century African American life from Peter J. Cohen’s collection and found Polaroids from the personal collection of artist Zun Lee. Collected here, they challenge racial stereotypes and provide vivid glimpses into African American life over the course of more than a century. 


Jul 29–Dec 3, Portland Art Museum, FREE–$19.99

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