Reflections: Intimate Portraits of Iconic African Americans




Think about the various rooms in your home - your living room, bedroom, office, etc.

Think about the items that you have in these rooms. Are there paintings, sculptures, records, sports equipment, posters or toys? Do you think the things we surround ourselves with are a “reflection” of who we are?


Reflections: Intimate Portraits of Iconic African Americans is a documentary-style series of photographs that differ from traditional portraiture. Instead of a single, close-up, posed portrait of the person, photographer Terrence A. Reese (TAR), takes black and white photographs of renowned Americans in their personal living spaces - environments which reflect their persona. The density of the living spaces sometimes makes it difficult to find the subject, but the viewer is rewarded by analyzing the photographs to imagine a life well-lived. Reese also strategically places mirrors or reflective surfaces in the photographs to reveal the subjects in rich and interesting ways.


These unusual portraits liberate the eye to move about within the boundaries of the image, not encompassing it all in one glance. The exercise reveals the unforeseen and true nature of the individual. It is the challenge of locating the subject's image in the mirror that becomes an intriguing and rewarding experience while exploring their space, their physical extension of self. Each image is accompanied by the photographer’s personal written memoir which reveals a creative collaboration of dialogue that culminates into an emergence of art.


The collection of more than 45 portraits includes a network of luminaries such as legendary photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks, dancers Harold and Fayard Nicholas, civil rights activist Daisy Bates, media mogul Catherine Hughes, and others.  


Can you find the icon in the mirror?

CLICK HERE for a special message from photographer Terrence A. Reese.




Thursday, February 1 to Sunday, August 12
Included with museum admission