LearningIsWealth300dpi600 You are about to enter the main exhi­bi­tion of The Mir­ror of Race Project.

The exhi­bi­tion dis­plays dig­i­tal scans of the very ear­li­est Amer­i­can pho­tographs, from the 1840s to the late 1800s. We believe that these ear­ly pho­tographs have the pow­er to dis­place us from our usu­al ways of see­ing and pro­voke us into reflec­tion and con­ver­sa­tion about the mean­ing of race.

Unlike most muse­um exhibits, this one will not pro­vide you with an imme­di­ate expla­na­tion of what you are see­ing. Instead, we invite you as the view­er first to con­sid­er what you think you see before being told what you see. Then, you may click through to deep­en­ing lay­ers of expla­na­tion and con­front your impres­sion with what we know about the image.

First is Basic Infor­ma­tion. This will give what tra­di­tion­al cap­tions pro­vide, the basic data avail­able about the image, such as the mak­er, the sub­ject, and the date made.

Next is Fac­tu­al Com­men­tary, which will tell you every­thing known about the pho­to­graph. In some cas­es, this is very lit­tle.

Final­ly, there is Inter­pre­tive Com­men­tary. This will raise ques­tions about what the image means, how to under­stand it in a broad­er con­text, and in some cas­es pro­vide links to fur­ther dis­cus­sion.