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Where We Find Ourselves
April 9, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - June 12, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897-1922
The Museum of Art – DeLand presents a powerful immersive art exhibition showcasing the work of early photographer Hugh Mangum.
Hugh Mangum was an itinerant self-taught photographer from Durham, North Carolina, from the early 1890s until his death in 1922 during the influenza pandemic. He traveled a rail circuit through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia making photographs on glass plate negatives. Magnum used a variety of equipment during his career ranging from the “Penny Picture” camera which produced images the size of a penny to a Cirkut panorama camera capable of producing images 8″X 40″ without enlargement.
Mangum photographs are distinctive for the level of comfort exhibited by his subjects in front of the camera. Though the south of his era was marked by disenfranchisement, segregation and inequality, Mangum’s multiple-image, glass plate negatives reveal the open-door policy of his studio and an artistic freshness unusual for the time period.
After his death, many of Mangum’s glass plate negatives were lost for almost fifty years, stored in the tobacco pack house in Durham, where he built his first darkroom. Fortunately the images that did survive – from more than 900 plates – were salvaged and moved to the Duke Special Collections Library, where they were scanned and made digitally available.
In Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897–1922, some of the pictures have been scanned and enlarged using digital technology and printed in full color, something unimaginable in Mangum’s time. The deterioration of the negatives caused by the ravages of time and the elements are preserved in the images and to see them in large scale underscores the magical story of their survival and lends a distinctive sense of modernity to the photographs.
Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897–1922
On view April 9 – June 12, 2022
Museum of Art – DeLand
100 N. Woodland Blvd. DeLand, Florida 32720
Admission: Members Free | Non-Members $5
Top Image: Hugh Mangum, Untitled 10, 2021, Archival Pigment Print, 28 x 42 in