The picture quickly began winning awards, but Bright found that many white viewers could not overcome the stereotypes they had in mind.
“The publisher told me the work didn’t include enough symbols to identify it as black,” she said. Her consultant told her: “This is like my house.” There’s a bookshelf and they read, but there’s no TV in sight. ” Prominently displayed on that bookshelf was Debra J. Dickerson’s 2004 manifesto, “The End of Blackness: Returning the Soul of the Black Race to its Rightful Owner.”
The museum’s curator, Michelle Joan Wilkinson, has been developing a design and architecture collection since 2016, acquiring artefacts and photographs of urban planners like Bright’s. “We wanted to sharpen our focus, not just on the narrative of racism, but on the role that design plays in African American history and the role that people of African descent play in architecture. I also wanted to tell the story of,” she said.
The museum has acquired architect archives and furniture designs, with a particular focus on chairs by contemporary practitioners such as German Burns, Stephen Birks and the museum’s design architect, David Adjaye. . On display is his 1840 bed by Henry Boyd, a Cincinnati carpenter and entrepreneur who patented his unique screw fastening system. The Muse Den is a padded, red vinyl bar that was installed in a South Side home in the 1970s and used as a bootlegger.
“Black interiors may not have received as much attention in the broader media, or in the white mainstream media,” Wilkinson said. “But there was always a concern for interior space.” The museum has photographic archives from Johnson Publishing’s Ebony and Jet magazines, and “Literature contains the interior worlds of black people.” is really richly expressed, and you can see it in contemporary art,” she said.