Photo credits: BePureBlack.com
One of South Florida’s most prestigious institutions of the arts has premiered Reginald Cunningham: Black Pearls, the first-ever museum exhibition of Cunningham’s creations.
The exhibit of photography will be administered by Kelli Bodle, Associate Curator. The Boca Raton Museum of Art in South Florida will host the exhibition of photographs taken by Cunningham (pictured) beginning on September 3, 2022 and continuing until January 22, 2023. This new series of images was commissioned by the Museum from Cunningham, who is globally known for his brand BePureBlack.com.
The Museum wishes to celebrate the adjacent historically Black area of Pearl City with these photographs. This neighborhood is recognized across the state of Florida as having a rich history as one of the oldest and most continuously inhabited African American communities.
According to a press release from the News Travels Fast agency sent via email to BlackThen.com, Irvin Lippman, Executive Director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art spoke about his institution’s close ties to the Pearl City community, as well as how essential Cunningham’s photo exhibition is to preserving a robust local culture.
“The Pearl City residents are our Museum’s closest neighbors, located only two blocks away, and we want to celebrate our neighbors with this exhibition,” Lippman said, according to the press release.
Cunningham, a skilled lens man and fashion tastemaker, is known for capturing visions, which center around urban fashion and cinematography. Contemporaneous imagery is led by his analytical as well as reformist viewpoint. This is shown in Cunningham’s images, which depict live music performances, style influencers, entertainers, and philosophers.
“Through the lens of my photography I’m always trying to create affinity for and uplift Black people and the Black experience in this country,” News Travels Fast quoted him as saying.
“Being commissioned by the Boca Raton Museum of Art to photograph the residents and cultural emblems of Pearl City ─ one of the South’s most beloved and enduring Black districts ─ is an amazing experience,” Cunningham added.
This special exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art is being complemented with a compendium which will feature illustrations and an editorial profiling Cunningham authored by Dr. Imani M. Cheers, Associate Professor of Digital Storytelling at The George Washington University.
A history-centered essay authored by Candace Cunningham, Ph.D., is also included in the compendium. Dr. Cunningham is an Assistant Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University. The art of Reginald Cunningham has never been shown inside a museum as part of a virtuoso display. Before the picture sittings, he conducted in-depth interviews with every one of his subjects individually.
Cunningham has documented not just the material and immaterial aspects of the community. He has also found the anecdotal and geographic components of a historic neighborhood, which will initiate the preservation of personal accounts for many years to come.
For more information about the Reginald Cunningham: Black Pearls photography exhibition, go to https://bocamuseum.org/art/reginald-cunningham-black-pearls.