On View
Sep 5, 2003–Nov 2, 2003

Exhibition and related programs were supported in part by Krannert Art Museum Council; Donald and Gay Roberts; Charles and Anne Slichte; Illinois Arts Council; Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artist Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; WWHP The Whip 98.3 FM; WILL-FM 90.9 FM; and Hampton Inn


This exhibition explored the historical, cultural, and visual foundations of the blues through the history of photography. More than 100 haunting and powerful images, from the Civil War to the present day, portrayed the physical and cultural environment of the South that gave birth to America’s most influential musical form. Among the photographers represented in the exhibition were Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ralson Crawford, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Eudora Welty, Ernest Withers, Jane Rule Burdine, and Larry McPhearson. Organized by the Dixon Museum and Gardens in Memphis, TN.

Exhibition programming

September 24
5:30 pm: Lecture
"Moving the Blues from the Cotton Fields to Town," a talk by Michael Lasser, music historian and host of National Public Radio's Fascinatin' Rhythm

October 8
5:30 pm: Artists@Krannert
"Fattening Frogs for Snakes," a musical performance and reading by John Sinclair, Blues musician, poet, and political activist

October 9
5:30 pm: Gallery Conversation
"Images of the American South," a discussion with John Sinclair

October 22
5:30 pm: Film Screening
Mystery Train (1989), directed by Jim Jarmusch

Guest Curator: Wendy McDaris