UTSA hosts national civil rights exhibit 'For All the World to See' through Feb. 26

exhibit photo

"I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Assemble Outside Clayborn Temple, Memphis, Tenn.," 1968, gelatin silver print, 8 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches, Ernest C. Withers. Courtesy Panopticon Gallery, Boston, Mass.

Share this Story

(Jan. 15, 2014) -- The UTSA Department of Art and Art History will present "For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights," from Jan. 22 to Feb. 26 in the UTSA Arts Building Gallery on the Main Campus. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

"For All the World to See" graphically demonstrates the many ways that visual materials not only provide evidence of historic events but also influence them. Exhibit highlights include photographs from Life, Jet and Ebony magazines, news footage from CBS News and television clips from "The Ed Sullivan Show."

The exhibit derives its name from the 1955 murder of Emmett Till at the hands of white supremacists. Mamie Till Bradley, the mother of the slain 14-year-old, decided to have an open coffin at his funeral so the thousands of people in attendance could see the brutality in everyday life.

Her words, "Let the world see what I've seen," supported her belief that more people would support the cause of racial justice and equality if they were witness to the horrors of racism, segregation and violence. The image of her son's mutilated corpse became a flashpoint in the civil rights movement.

"From the insidious to the blatant, discriminatory images have circulated in commercial contexts, journalism and the applied arts, and valiant responses have ranged from subtle coding to bold demonstration," said Scott Sherer, UTSA associate professor of art history and director of the UTSA Art Gallery and Satellite Space. "Both negative and positive imageries have told the story of the struggle for civil rights, from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children's toys marketed to African-Americans."

"For All the World to See" was made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH also provided an exhibition grant to UTSA.

The exhibit was curated by Maurice Berger, a research professor in the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture co-organized the exhibit that was adapted by the Mid America Arts Alliance.

Additionally, selections from the Paula and Edwin Miles Collection will help place the representation of the African American experience in a broader context. This local collection includes hundreds of artworks by well-known and emerging artists.

"For All the World to See" will precede the seventh annual African American Studies Spring Symposium, "FLAME: 100 Years Forward in African-American Literary Arts and Media," on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the UTSA Main Campus. The all-day symposium will include presentations from a diverse array of scholars from across the nation. Featured guest speakers include Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and Howard Rambsy II, associate professor of English and director of Black studies, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

The UTSA Art Gallery presents a mix of professionally curated, juried and student and faculty exhibitions with an emphasis on larger and more complex projects. The UTSA Satellite Space in the Blue Star Arts Complex in downtown San Antonio divides programming between monthly curated exhibitions and presentations organized by UTSA graduate students in studio art and art history.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 1-4 p.m., Saturday and by appointment. For more information, contact Laura Crist at 210-458-4391.




UTSA Bold Promise CTA

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.