Gee's Bend Exhibit Comes Home
BIRMINGHAM, AL -- After touring the United States for six years, one of the
Birmingham Public Library’s most successful exhibitions has come home.
Looking Back at Gee’s Bend: The Photographs of John Reese traveled to
Chicago’s DuSadle Museum of African American History and to museums in seven
other states. Focusing on an isolated African American community, the
exhibition highlights a way of life that is rapidly disappearing.
Situated within a deep bend of the Alabama River in
Wilcox County, Gee’s Bend remained unchanged and relatively free of outside
influence for decades. Hoping to document this community’s history and way
of life, in 1980 the Birmingham Public Library commissioned Alabama writer
Kathryn Tucker Windham and photographer John Reese to interview and
photograph residents of the Bend. In 1994 the library produced Looking
Back at Gee’s Bend using photos selected by Reese.
As Gee’s Bend returns to Birmingham, the world
is turning its attention to Gee’s Bend. The community has been the subject
of television documentaries and the setting for a novel. Seventy quilts made
by the women of Gee’s Bend, quilts celebrated as a “great American art
form,” are now on display at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.
Looking Back at Gee’s Bend will be on display
in the Birmingham Public Library’s Central Library Gallery from January 15 to March 31.
information regarding the Birmingham Public Library and a list of
upcoming events, please visit www.bplonline.org or call