Frances Benjamin Johnston: The Hampton Album

Frances Benjamin Johnston: The Hampton Album

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Author/Contributor(s): Meister, Sarah ; Frazier, Latoya Ruby ; Johnston, Frances Benjamin
Publisher: Museum of Modern Art
Date: 05/21/2019
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: NEW

A portrait of one of the earliest African American and Native American colleges, from an album found in a bookstore by Lincoln Kirstein

Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952), credited as the first female photojournalist in the United States, was commissioned in 1899 to photograph the Hampton Institute, then a 30-year-old institution dedicated to the education of young African American and Native American men and women. What became known as the Hampton Album--comprised of 159 luxurious platinum plates that offer insight into the daily life of students, originally exhibited in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris--is Johnston's signature work, and a touchstone for contemporary artists and historians.

The leatherbound album was discovered serendipitously by Lincoln Kirstein in a Washington, DC, bookstore during World War II, and donated to MoMA in 1965. This volume makes the album available to the public in its entirety for the first time, and features a contextualizing essay by curator Sarah Hermanson Meister and a response to the album from artist LaToya Ruby Frazier.