Come As You Are: American Youth
November 20, 2019 – March 8, 2020
What does youth mean to you? Whether your mind flashes to sweltering summer days spent playing with neighbors or to the seemingly endless hours spent in the classroom, our childhoods have the ability to connect us all. Featuring photographs of a diverse range of experiences faced by young Americans across generations and across the country, Come As You Are: American Youth seeks to celebrate both our similarities and differences.
Grappling with the themes of play, identity, education, rebellion, and violence, this exhibition shows the joys of childhood, challenges of adolescence, and obstacles encountered by those forced to grow up too soon. Despite the fact that many of the images in this exhibition were taken by adults, the subjects depicted express their agency. Ultimately, they show that young people are not only a product of the times in which they live but also possess the power to redefine their roles in society.
Allow this exhibition to act as a space to explore what childhood means to you and those around you. Come with all your baggage, your memories, your experiences—come as you are.
Come As You Are: American Youth was curated by Phillips Academy students in Art 400, Visual Culture: Discovering the Addison Collection, and is presented in the Museum Learning Center. Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the Margot Chandler Cook ’00 Life in Art Fund.