Skip to main content

Becoming: Photographs From The Wedge Collection

August 11, 2011 – January 08, 2012
Visitors explore the gallery during a Free Family Day event. Photo by J Caldwell.
Dr. Kenneth Montague, who organized the exhibition from his own collection, makes remarks at the opening event. Photo by J Caldwell.
Dr. Kenneth Montague, who organized the exhibition from his own collection, makes remarks at the opening event. Photo by J Caldwell.

Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection was a significant exhibition, well suited for Durham and rare for a regional art museum, featuring more than 100 original photographic portraits of people of color.

The portraits were taken over the past 100 years by more than 60 global artists. In some of the portraits, the subjects have little or no control over the way they were depicted; in others, the subjects become increasingly involved with the photographer. All of the artists reject a common tendency to view black communities in terms of conflict or stereotype. Becoming included studio portraitists (Malick Sidibé, James VanDerZee), social documentarians (Milton Rogovin, Jürgen Schadeberg), conceptual artists (Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems) and young contemporary artists whose work is largely unknown in this country (Zanele Muholi, Viviane Sassen).

African, Canadian and American Influences

A young visitor with his mother explores the gallery during a Free Family Day event. Photo by J Caldwell.
A young visitor with his mother explores the gallery during a Free Family Day event. Photo by J Caldwell.

The work was on loan from the collection of Dr. Kenneth Montague, who organized the exhibition. Montague, a dentist based in Toronto, has collected contemporary art since the 1990s. He grew up in the Canadian border town of Windsor, where he was influenced by the African American culture across the river, in Detroit. Learn more about his collection and Wedge Curatorial Projects.

Becoming was supported by Paula and Eugene Flood, the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Duke University, and Gail Belvett, DDS.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. In accordance with Duke University, the museum is closed to visitors until further notice. The café and store are closed. Find updates and the latest information on Duke’s Coronavirus Response website.