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Visualizing the Blues

Images of the American South

Introducing Visualizing the Blues: Images of the American South, our first national traveling exhibition organized by the Dixon Gallery and Garden in Memphis, TN and guest curated by Wendy McDaris. The national tour is sponsored by The Blues Foundation and Northwest Airlines. The local presentation is sponsored by W.L. Weller and Old Charter brand bourbons and Chevron.

The show explores the historical, cultural and visual foundation of the Blues genre through photography. This exhibition spans the history of photography from the early 20th century to contemporary times featuring works by renowned artists, among them, Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ralston Crawford, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Gordon Parks, Andres Serrano, Doris Ulmann, Eudora Welty as well as a number of emerging artists including Huger Foote and Birney Imes.

With imgs from Beale Street to the Mississippi Delta to the French Quarter, this collection of black and white and color photographs from the turn-of-the-century to the present attests to the rich variety of experiences, social and geographic roots, and collective soul that make up the unique culture of the American South. Hard truths, legendary humor and spirituality - for which Blues music is known - come alive in these imgs to help us appreciate the many influences that culminate in such extraordinary musical expression.

Some of the most significant imgs from the exhibition are also part of the Ogden Museum's permanent collection, and over a dozen of the photographers are represented in the collection. This show is not only important in that it is our first national traveling exhibition, but to the extent that photography is essential to understanding the art and culture of the South.