Addison Scurlock's Portrait Studies of Women

August 3, 2009 – November 29, 2009

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, West Wing Floor Plan

In changing display cases, the Archives Center features items from the museum's archival collection that document America's history and its diverse cultures, ranging from correspondences, diaries, financial and legal documents, photographs, and sound recordings.

On view are 14 photographic portraits of young women taken by African American photographer Addison Scurlock (1883-1964) during the 1920s. Scurlock opened a photo studio in Washington, D.C., in 1911 that became one of the premiere African American studios in the country. The images on view depict an idealized view of feminine beauty and demonstrate Scurlock's mastery of the photographic process -- from lighting and focus to retouching of negatives to hand coloring of final prints.