Momma's Ohio Piano (Primary Title)

Adger Cowans, American, born 1936 (Artist)

ca. 1965
Works On Paper
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 15 15/16 × 19 7/8 in. (40.48 × 50.48 cm)
Image: 12 1/8 × 17 3/4 in. (30.8 × 45.09 cm)
Mat: 24 × 30 in. (60.96 × 76.2 cm)
Not on view

Cowans grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and attended Ohio University a few years after Clarence White Jr. established a photography program in the fine arts department there. Another founding member of Kamoinge, Cowans credits the formal critique process he learned at school for the model Kamoinge adopted when members presented their work to the group for discussion.

This photograph appeared without a title in the Annual, thus viewers would have missed the clearly autobiographical subject. Cowans’s mother was the church pianist, and as a teenager he played the trumpet with her. Although music offers the subtext for the photograph, it is a distinctly quiet work about memory and home.

Aldine S. Hartman Endowment Fund
2018: "Truthful Witnessing: The Black Photographers Annual, Volume 3", VMFA, May 12 - October 14, 2018

"Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop", VMFA, February 1, 2020 - June 14, 2020
© Adger Cowan

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.