Pioneering African American photographer and painter Adger Cowans will show selected works and discuss his seven-decade career and perspectives on being an artist with Brian Wallis, a photo historian and Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock.
At 87, Cowans remains remarkably insightful, vibrant, and productive; he is an inspiration, whose beautiful work spans decades of social and cultural change. In 1958, Cowans worked with Gordon Parks at Life Magazine, where Parks encouraged Cowans to stick with his point of view in photography. In 1963, Adger was a founding member of the Kamoinge Workshop, a photo and art collective that sought to undermine racist depictions of Black communities. As the first African American film set photographer in Hollywood, Cowans worked on over thirty productions, alongside directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Sidney Lumet, and Spike Lee. He has exhibited his photographs at the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman Museum, The Getty Museum and The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and numerous other institutions around the world. Cowans is also the recipient of many awards including The Lorenzo II Magnifico Alla Carriera Award in recognition of a distinguished career in 2001.
This unique event will feature a wide-ranging slideshow of Cowans’ portraiture, landscape, fine art, and documentary photographs, as well as short film clips and behind-the-scenes accounts of his many experiences on some popular movies (On Golden Pond, Juice, The Eyes of Laura Mars, Dirty Dancing, The Cotton Club, and Live and Let Die).
Co-presented with the Center for Photography at Woodstock.