The Counter/Narrative exhibition examines the way in which objects are preserved and collected through archives, museums, and exhibitions and investigates ideas surrounding the (re)presentation of historical narratives through artwork and artifacts.
How do we relate to these objects, who uses them, and how? If libraries and archives are our cultural means of convening with the past, whose voice is telling the stories? This exhibition attempts to uncover and celebrate the often-obscured agency within these objects, exploring their counter-narratives related to race, respect, interconnection, and belonging.
This exhibition is part of the Represent! Critical Engagements with Race and Ethnicity in the Arts partnership that brings together exhibitions, performances, films, lectures, and other arts and culture events connected by themes of race, ethnicity, and representation, taking place across Washington University during the 2021-2022 academic year. Partners include the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity; the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; and Washington University Libraries.
Header images: (left) J.A. Scholten Photography Studio, Portrait of Archer Alexander, c. 1870-71. Black-and-white photograph. William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis. (right) Kehinde Wiley, The Honourable Augustus Keppel, Admiral of the Blue II, 2006. Oil on canvas. Courtesy John and Karen Zappitelli.