Past Exhibitions

For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

April 13 - July 31, 2013

Comprised of more than 250 objects, including posters, photographs, magazines, newspapers, books, pamphlets, political buttons, comic books, toys, postcards, and clips from film and television, this exhibition explores the historical role played by visual images in shaping, influencing, and transforming the fight for civil rights in the United States from the 1940s to 1970s.

With the advent of television and the popularity of picture magazines and other forms of visual mass media, images of the civil rights era were ever-present and diverse. The war against racism and segregation was waged by capitalizing on the power of visual culture to alter prevailing attitudes toward race in America. By including a range of iconic objects, motion pictures, and intimate portraits of black life, For All the World to See offers important insights into the way these images forever changed the cultural and social landscape of the United States.


Some of the images in For All the World to See are graphic in nature. They are included for the vital role they played in the modern civil rights movement.


For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights is curated by Maurice Berger, Ph.D. and is organized by the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland Baltimore County in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.

The exhibition and catalog are funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Trellis Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, St. Paul Travelers Corporation, Communities Foundation of Texas, and the Maryland State Arts Council.

For All the World to See has been designated a NEH “We the People” project. The goal of the “We the People” initiative is to “encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through the support of projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history and culture and that advance knowledge of the principles that define America.”

Generous support for the Addison’s presentation of this exhibition was provided by the David Older Fund.