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Model Citizens: Frances Benjamin Johnston at the Tuskegee Institute

Anjuli J. Lebowitz, exhibition research associate, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art In 1902 Booker T. Washington commissioned photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston to record students participating in the curriculum at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. Building on her previous projects in Virginia and Paris, Johnston created some of her most complex work to date on the Tuskegee grounds. On April 29, 2019, as part of the Works in Progress Lecture Series at the National Gallery of Art, Anjuli Lebowitz asserts that Johnston’s Learning Dressmaking, Tuskegee Institute, in particular, synthesizes methods of nineteenth-century visual anthropology with discourses surrounding African American citizenship that had been circulating since before the Civil War.