Between 1973 and 1980, a group of African American photographers based in New York City published four volumes of The Black Photographers Annual. Emerging from the Black Arts Movement, which grew out of the civil rights movement, as well as the collective of African American photographers known as the Kamoinge Workshop, each Annual featured the work of as many as 49 artists. Since 2016, VMFA has featured a series of exhibitions that explore each of the four volumes.

The fourth installment focuses on the final volume of The Black Photographers Annual. When the Annual editors asked James VanDerZee if he had any advice for younger photographers, the elder artist replied, “patience and perseverance.” This rotation pairs photographs by VanDerZee with a selection of works by a younger generation, including Dawoud Bey, Jules Allen, and Marilyn Nance, among others.

This exhibition is curated by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and sponsored by Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher and Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher.

Explore the Black Photographers Annual Explore the Black Photographers Annual, vol 4

Founded by Beuford Smith and published by Joe Crawford, this digital representation of The Black Photographers Annual was made possible by the generosity of Mr. Smith, who granted the VMFA a copyright license to present these volumes online for two years.

Explore the Black Photographers Annual