jean m-a


BANK OF AMERICA dontated 61 photos of a small community of slave descendants living on a South Carolina sea island to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) this week. According to an AP report published in the Washington Post, the photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe were taken between 1977 and 1981 and document the Gullah/Geechee people who live on a small, isolated island community off the coast of South Carolina. At the tine, only 84 people lived on Daufuskie Island.

“To give this just incredible, warm, giving, nurturing community of people recognition that they were able to thrive as long as they did, that to me is a testament to them and to our culture.” — Jean Moutoussamy-Ashe

The article states:

“Museum director Lonnie Bunch said the donation builds on a growing collection of photographs in the museum’s collection, which also includes early images of Frederick Douglass and the work of South African photographer Gordon Clark.”

And continues:

“Daufuskie Island is one of those places that was almost a time capsule,” Bunch said. “It was very important to capture that. That’s what these photographs do.”

From left, Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Photographer Jean Moutoussamy-Ashe, widow of tennis legend Arthur Ashe; and Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.


Daufuskie Island 25th Anniv. Ed.Bank of America has established an extensive collection of art and regularly lends works to museums. Over the years, Moutoussamy-Ashe’s photos have been exhibited at museums in New York, Atlanta, Houston, Charleston, S.C., and Los Angeles and in 1982, she published images from the project in a book. “Daufuskie Island: 25th Anniversary Edition” was released in 2007 and a paperback edition appeared in 2009.

In addition to the collection of photos, Bank of America donated $1 million to NMAAHC, its second $1 million gift to the museum expected to open in 2015. CT


TOP PHOTO: “Miss Bertha,” 1977 (fiber print 20” x 24”) by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (American, b. 1952) | NMAAHC


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