Memphis, TN, April 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Saturday, April 10, the National Civil Rights Museum opens the fine art photography exhibition, Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place featuring the work of David Katzenstein. The yearlong exhibition highlights the museum as mecca for peacemakers, a place of memory and connection during the museum’s 30th anniversary.
The collection of over 90 photos in Outside the Lorraine helps visitors identify with social issues by using fine art photography to connect to the historic place, Dr. King, movement makers, and one another. Viewers are invited to see the sparkle that lies within each print that shimmers, vibrates, and introduces people to a richer experience with fine art photography by making each piece relatable.
“Outside the Lorraine offers the rare opportunity for our visitors to see themselves reflected in the artwork of one of our exhibitions,” said Dr. Noelle Trent, the museum’s Director of Interpretation, Collections and Education. “The exhibition is a ‘thank you’ to our visitors who have loving supported the museum over the last 30 years and emphasizes the beautiful array of humanity that energizes the courtyard and museum. As the world slowly reopens, we hope this exhibition reminds our audience how much they mean to us,” Trent said.
The idea began in 2017 when the Katzenstein returned to the museum with his family. He noticed how people were spending a lot of time in the courtyard before ever entering the museum. He spent 20 minutes capturing images and observing how, in this sacred place, families, individuals, friends, and strangers experienced personal relationship within the collective narrative – a shared human experience of deep loss, grief, triumph, hope, and change. He introduced his project to the exhibit designer and curator, Gay Feldman.
The courtyard is the first stop museum visitors confront assumptions about the Civil Rights Movement. The photographs in this exhibit convey unspoken messages that inform and influence how people understand today’s world. A picture is worth a thousand words. According to Feldman, there are six pillars in interpreting the exhibition.
- Outside the Lorraine helps to redefine assumptions about history and identity within the legacy of Dr. King and the Movement. The knowledge guests have before they arrive and how they come out of the experience is subject to change, whether new or different than before.
- The collection is accessible. It steers viewers toward pride, empowerment, and joy in coming together. In some ways, the photography is up close and personal. The work draws a direct line for viewers to personally identify with what was then and what is now.
- The exhibition expands education, demonstrating that where a person learns impacts how they learn. Seeing oneself in the photographs helps people identify, connect, and remember on a deeper level. No matter how much one already knows about the Movement, each person is enlightened with a fuller, more personal, account when they leave.
- The exhibition describes community as people traveling from all over the world with different reasons for coming to the site to share fundamental beliefs of the Movement and what is experienced with today’s civil and human rights issues. There is a layering of families, travelers, students, and educators coming together, strangers and friends taking selfies of themselves, while commemorating their experiences in the moment. The exhibition highlights the diverse audience the museum attracts.
- The land or historic location is a central theme in the photographs. There is a visceral reaction detected in the photo subjects as they commune in a space that once served as a safe haven for Black travelers during segregation and now converted into a site of conscience serving as a legacy of memory, a beacon of hope, and a call to action for social change.
- The photographs commemorate the legacy of Dr. King in shared moments of remembrance, deep mourning, celebration, and exchange, especially during the MLK50 commemoration in 2018. The captured moments in time weave connections that speak to emotion, impact, and transformation.
Katzenstein has traveled extensively throughout the world creating narrative imagery for fine art exhibitions, global corporate giants and philanthropic organizations. Steeped in the tradition established by documentary and reportage photographers such as Cartier-Bresson and Josef Koudelka, he imbues all his work with emotional engagement and a deep respect for humanity. Spontaneous, authentic, and bold, his lens captures the essence of each moment providing the viewer with an intimate view of the world around us.
Feldman has been involved in commercial and fine art photography for over three decades. Her formal background as an art historian and experience working alongside some of the most recognizable names in design and creative direction, have allowed her to guide and nurture the careers for a notable coterie of creatives. In 2015, she began a new chapter in her life devoted towards creating content in support of mission-based organizations. Her dedication to education and public access to the arts has supported independent schools, community-based initiatives, and other nonprofit entities. A recent graduate of Bank Street College of Education (M.S.Ed Museum Education), Feldman continues to combine passion for the arts with her entrepreneurial acumen on a daily basis through curriculum development, curation and exhibition design.
The Outside the Lorraine exhibition is on display at the museum until April 4, 2022. It is included with museum admission. Media personnel are invited to an exhibit preview on Friday, April 9, at 10:30am. Katzenstein and Feldman will be available for interviews. For more information, visit civilrightsmuseum.org.
About the National Civil Rights Museum
The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights. It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.
The Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries. It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today‘s Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC’s Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.
Connie Dyson National Civil Rights Museum 901-331-5460 [email protected]