AUBURN – The annual New Perspectives series begins this year with a lecture on photographer Prentice Herman Polk on Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Polk was a studio photographer and the official Tuskegee University photographer for 50 years. The series is sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts.
Amalia K. Amaki, professor of art history and curator of the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University of Alabama, will present Polk’s life and works in “P. H. Polk’s Images of Alabama.” Polk’s camera captured campus and community life as well as visiting dignitaries and local residents in hundreds of images. His work is a singular record of place and the Southern experiences of African Americans from the late 1920s until the early 1980s.
Amaki holds a Ph.D. in 20th century American art and culture and a master’s degree in modern European and American art, both from Emory University. She is also a studio artist whose work is represented in the collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
This year’s New Perspectives series, “Art and the Academy: Views from Alabama Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” will address art made in and for institutions of higher learning, artists who were academically trained and artists who taught in and shaped the development of those institutions’ art departments.
The series will continue on Feb. 24 with a lecture by Ellen Weiss, Tulane University School of Architecture, titled “Robert R. Taylor and Tuskegee: An African American Architect designs for Booker T. Washington.”
New Perspectives is sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The series is co-sponsored by the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the Access and Community Initiatives unit of the Office of Diversity of Multicultural Affairs, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University and the Department of Art.
After premiering in Auburn, the lectures will be offered in selected locations around the state. For dates and more information, go to www.auburn.edu/cah or call (334) 844-4946.