RaMell Ross (American, born 1982), iHome, 2013

A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845

Mar. 2, 2024 to
Jul. 31, 2024
The first major survey of Southern photography in 25 years, this exhibition, organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, examines the South’s place in the history of photography and reveals the region’s critical impact on the evolution of the medium.

The South has occupied an uneasy place in the history of photography as both an example of regional exceptionalism and as the crucible from which American identity has been forged. As the first major survey of Southern photography in twenty-five years, this exhibition will examine that complicated history and reveal the South’s critical impact on the evolution of the medium, posing timely questions about American culture and character.

Featuring many works from the High’s extensive collection along with important loans from private and public collections, A Long Arc will include photographs of the American Civil War, which transformed the practice of photography across the nation and established visual codes for articulating national identity and expressing collective trauma. Photographs from the 1930s–1950s, featuring many created for the Farm Security Administration, will demonstrate how that era defined a new kind of documentary aesthetic that dominated American photography for decades and included jarring and unsettling pictures that exposed economic and racial disparities. With works drawn from the High’s unparalleled collection of civil rights-era photography, the exhibition will show how photographs of the movement in the decade that followed galvanized the nation with raw depictions of violence and the struggle for justice. Contemporary photography featured in the exhibition will demonstrate how photographers working today continue to explore Southern history and themes to grasp American identity.

A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845 is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Generous support for the Addison’s presentation of the exhibition has been provided by the Francesca S. Woodman Exhibitions Fund.

On view on Level 2, Galleries 201–208 (exhibition begins in Gallery 206)

Related Exhibition Materials


Exhibition co-curators Gregory Harris, Keough Family Curator of Photography from the High Museum, Atlanta, and Sarah Kennel, Aaron Siskind Curator of Photography and Director of the Raysor Center, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, present a virtual tour and discussion of the exhibition. This program was organized with Andover’s Memorial Hall Library. (Recorded on April 10, 2024)

exhibition Press Release

High Museum of Art Organizes Sweeping Survey of Southern Photography from 1845 to the Present

Addison winter exhibitions press release

The American Experience will be Explored through Photography in Two Exhibitions at the Addison

In the News

Aesthetica Magazine, History through the Lens by Diana Bestwish Tetteh, 6/1/2024

The Eagle-Tribune, A sweeping view of the South at the Addison by Will Broaddus; 4/20/24

Aesthetica Magazine, Exhibition Reviews: A Long Arc by Diana Bestwish Tetteh, April/May 2024

What Will You Remember?, A Long Arc by Elin Spring and Suzanne Révy, 3/20/24

Forbes, Explore Three Centuries Of Southern Photography, by Chadd Scott, 3/12/24

Boston Globe, A Long Arc Bends toward Justice at the Addison Gallery of American Art, by Mark Feeney, 3/7/24

Harvard Magazine, Capturing the American South, by Nell Porter Brown, March/April 2024

The Civil War Picket, Tracing ‘A Long Arc’: These 9 Civil War-era photographs in an Atlanta museum exhibit drive home identity and trauma across the South, US, by Phil Gast, 1/12/24

Virtual tour

 by Lightshed Photography Studio

A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845

Matterport 3D Showcase. 3 Chapel Ave, Andover, MA, 01810, US.

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