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‘Posing Beauty’ Curator to Present Lecture at The College of Wooster Art Museum on Feb. 11

UPublish story by John Finn

Deb Willis Photo
Deborah Willis

WOOSTER, Ohio — Deborah Willis, University Professor and professor of photography and imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, will discuss her exhibition, “Posing Beauty in African American Culture,” at The College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM), on Monday, Feb. 11. Her talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 223 of Ebert Art Center (1220 Beall Ave.), beginning at 7 p.m. A reception in the museum will follow immediately afterward. The event is sponsored by the College’s Center for Diversity and Global Engagement.

Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890's to the Present (2009), and curator of “Posing Beauty in African American Culture,” the current exhibition at the CWAM that explores the contested ways in which African American beauty has been represented in historical and contemporary contexts. The exhibition also explores contemporary understandings of beauty by framing the notion of aesthetics, race, class, and gender within art, popular culture, and political contexts. Comprised of mostly photographic works, “Posing Beauty” runs through March 3 in the CWAM’s Sussel and Burton D. Morgan Galleries.

Willis, an art photographer, is also regarded as one of the nation's leading historians of African American photography and curators of African American culture. She has received a number of noteworthy awards and honors, including a Guggenheim and Fletcher Fellowship in 2005 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000. She was also selected as one of the 100 most important people in photography by American Photography Magazine, and she received an educator award from the Society for Photographic Education in 2010. Her most recent book, Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, was released in December.

Other exhibitions curated by Willis include “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers - 1840 to the Present;” “A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. DuBois and African American Portraits of Progress;” “The Black Female Body in Photography;” “Let Your Motto be Resistance;” and “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs.”

The College of Wooster Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. All receptions, lectures, exhibitions, and performances are free and open to the public. Group and class tours are also available. For more information, or to arrange a tour of “Posing Beauty,” please call 330-263-2388 or visit

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