Teenie Harris: Racial Progress


The results of the Civil Rights movement are ever evolving. It’s been a bumpy process—surges of progressive equality in one instance, met with setbacks such as assassinations, unfair imprisonment, and the silent segregation of “not separate but still not equal” pervading all areas of life. Even with a second-term African American president, our society is still working out the balance of human rights. However, much of the progress of racial harmony was evident in Teenie Harris’s lifetime, which he captured beautifully, sampled here in this week’s selections. They include positive images of racial inclusion, camaraderie, and mutual support in business alliances, entertainment, sports, pageants, organizations, and day-to-day friendships.

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Group portrait of basketball players wearing vertically striped socks cheering in locker room, c. 1930–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of six beauty pageant contestants in evening gowns with sashes, including “Miss Universe Contestant”, “Miss Universe [...]yles by [...]“, [...] Coastguard Aux. No. 32″, and Miss Pittsburgh seated in center, c. 1930–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Two men, including Fred “Sir Frederick” Squires on right, standing behind group of four seated women styling hair, in interior with mermaids on wall, c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of men and women, most wearing name tags, including woman kneeling in front row, in interior with squiggle patterned carpet, and sunburst clock on right wall, 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of seven men, including one on right wearing dark double breasted suit with middle button fastened, moustache, and eyeglasses, posed in front of Pittsburgh Courier Newspaper offices, c. 1947, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of three women, including two wearing fur coats, and four men, including one wearing military uniform, with Walt Harper, third from right, posed in interior with light colored walls, c. 1951, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait, front row, from left: William McCarthy, Kenneth Ott, Ernest L. Taylor, guest of honor; Henry Henderson, and Ralph Gardner; back row: David Wilson, William Thomas, Clifford Thompson, Joseph Byrne, and Bert Thompson, posed in basement for birthday testimonial in home of Mr. and Mrs. Young, 306 Chalfont Street, March 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Maida Springer Kemp standing and speaking behind head banquet table, with men seated from left: Rev. R. J. Coleman, Edward Shelton, Herbert Hill, Eric Springer, and Hugh Cleeland, at NAACP career conference, University of Pittsburgh Student Union, May 24, 1958, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of five men, including Pittsburgh Mayor Thomas J. Gallagher, presenting framed letter to woman wearing paisley dress, in the Office of the Mayor at the City County Building, 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of twelve men wearing bathing suits, including two on right demonstrating lifesaving maneuver, in indoor swimming pool, possibly at Centre Avenue YMCA, c. 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of Mike Biscegila, Judy Hopson, and Verner Russell, leaning over newspaper, in interior, May 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of man wearing African dress, and eight women, including one wearing ethnic style dress with vest, standing in center, posed in interior with patterned sofa and chair, c. 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

 

Conceptual Art since Conceptual Art, Part 1


Marcel Broodthaers, Untitled (Les Portes du Musée) [The Doors of the Museum], 1968–1969, paint on vacuum-formed plastic; Purchase: A. W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund, Bequest of Roy O. Mitchell, Founder-Patrons Day Acquisition Fund, and Patrons Art Fund

Marcel Broodthaers, Untitled (Les Portes du Musée) [The Doors of the Museum], 1968–1969, paint on vacuum-formed plastic; Purchase: A. W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund, Bequest of Roy O. Mitchell, Founder-Patrons Day Acquisition Fund, and Patrons Art Fund

My contribution to the 2013 Carnegie International catalogue examines how Carnegie Museum of Art built its permanent collection in large part by acquiring art shown in the Carnegie International. With this shorter text, I want to take a closer look at an instance when this unique relationship between a museum and an exhibition, which otherwise tends to serve both partners well, resulted in a rather glaring omission. The Conceptual art movement—which took place in the 1960s and 70s and has had major repercussions for art ever since—went entirely unregistered by both the museum and the International during its original appearance and evolution. Subsequently, the museum has made amends for this oversight and incorporated into the collection and the exhibition schedule both Conceptual art and contemporary art that strongly demonstrates its impact. By exploring the history of these efforts, I hope to shine some light on the important role that institutional and curatorial decisions have played in shaping the reception history of Conceptual art. Carnegie Museum of Art is both emblematic of American museums’ general failure to acknowledge Conceptual art during its initial emergence and, at the same time, somewhat unique in how it has since addressed the matter.

Installation view of Lawrence Weiner's Ever Widening Circles of Shattered Glass, 1984-1986, language + materials referred to; Carnegie Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William Boyd, Jr. Fund

Installation view of Lawrence Weiner’s Ever Widening Circles of Shattered Glass, 1984–1986, language + materials referred to © Lawrence Weiner/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Mr. and Mrs. William Boyd, Jr. Fund; With works by Craig Kauffman, Nam June Paik, and John McCracken in the foreground

Conceptual art first came to widespread attention as the art of an information age dominated by communications, technology, and data during the 1960s and 70s. Indeed, the term “information art” is one of the many labels that Conceptual art attracted before consensus was reached on its name. As a watershed moment in the history of 20th-century art, Conceptual art occasioned new ways to think about what a work of art is, what an artist does, and how audiences respond to art. Most of these new ways of thinking had something to do with the activity of thinking itself, which Conceptual art prioritized as a core concern. “Idea art” is another name that circulated around this art as it first emerged. By placing less emphasis on the way art looks and more emphasis on the thought processes that go into and come out of it, Conceptual art deskilled the production of art objects and opened art both to unprecedented kinds of participation from viewers and to new contexts for its appearance in public.

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Mel Bochner, Measurement: Plant (Palm), 1969, live plant and tape on wall; Carnegie Mellon Art Gallery Fund

In so doing, it also helped usher new mediums like video, performance, and installation into existence. Moreover, its artistic radicalism was in sync with radical political developments of the time, including the student movement of the 1960s, the New Left, and second-wave feminism. Outside of the United States, Conceptual art or something analogous to it arose more or less simultaneously around the world, and scholars now speak of a global conceptualism, which can be found not only in New York but further afield in Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Moscow, and beyond. Initially, the pioneering efforts of the dealer Seth Siegelaub, who showed the artists Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner at his New York gallery, attracted private collectors to Conceptual art. A few intrepid museums, most of them in New York, where the movement had its epicenter, were quick to follow. The Museum of Modern Art and the Jewish Museum mounted exhibitions of Conceptual art in 1970. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis gave a retrospective exhibition to the Conceptual artist Mario Merz in 1972 (well before his 2008 inclusion in Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International). However, most museums, Carnegie Museum of Art included, were not so forward thinking at the time and, for reasons as diverse as the institutions are numerous, neglected Conceptual art.

Mario Merz, Fibonacci Igloo, 1972, metal structure with stuffed fabric, iron wire and neon numbers © Mario Merz; On extended loan from the Jill and Peter Kraus Collection, New York

Mario Merz, Fibonacci Igloo, 1972, metal structure with stuffed fabric, iron wire, and neon numbers © Mario Merz; On extended loan from the Jill and Peter Kraus Collection, New York

Today, the museum possesses a strong and varied collection of Conceptual art, and artists working within the movement’s expansive legacy are frequent participants in the Carnegie International. For instance, the museum owns three of On Kawara’s date paintings, one each from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. These deceptively simple paintings are small monochromatic canvases save for Kawara’s inclusion of their date of creation on their surface. They stand as markers of time and of Kawara’s passage through it. The dates of these three—19 Jul. 68 (1968), Apr. 27, 1978 (1978), and Feb. 29, 1988 (1988)—correspond roughly to Conceptual art’s initial emergence, eventual dissipation, and first historical reassessment, but none entered the collection until 1991, when Kawara participated in the Carnegie International and won the Carnegie Prize. This retroactivity is indicative of how the museum has collected and exhibited Conceptual art. (There is, however, one noteworthy exception: Michelangelo Pistoletto and James Lee Byars, two artists frequently included in the ranks of Conceptual art, exhibited in the 1964 Carnegie International—before Conceptual art was identified as a movement.) The museum did not acquire work by a Conceptual artist until 1980 (a drawing by Sol LeWitt), and its first exhibition to prominently feature Conceptual artists was the 1985 Carnegie International. The first solo exhibition it dedicated to a Conceptual artist was held in 1989, when Marcel Broodthaers became the subject of a retrospective, and a work of his, Untitled (Les Portes du Musee) [The Doors of the Museum] (1968–1969), entered the collection in 1997.

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Part 2 of this essay takes a further look at Conceptual works from the museum’s history.
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Robert Bailey is assistant professor in the School of Art & Art History at the University of Oklahoma. He is writing a book about the Conceptual art collective Art & Language.

Teenie Harris: Rallies & Protests


An integral part of the Civil Rights movement was the use of rallies and demonstrations. The sheer physical presence of allied individuals (both black and white) demanding the need for job opportunity, better housing, or customer fairness at department stores and restaurants was often the key turning point in achieving progress. A variety of groups ranging from the NAACP, Urban League, Black Construction Council, college students, and faith-based coalitions to the Black Berets and Black Panthers rallied in mostly peaceful and organized demonstrations, striving to have their voices heard. All endeavors were for a common cause—equality owed to people of color. Teenie Harris eloquently documented a variety of the marches in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Below are just some of the moments he captured on film.

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Protest march with women and men holding signs for equal rights, heading toward downtown Pittsburgh, with church in background, c. 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety; Heinz Family Fund

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Alberta Jordan Reaves and Willa Mae James protesting in front of Isaly’s, with Joel Wanzer in background, Homewood, August 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Men from Local Union 178 protesting labor policy outside United Steelworkers headquarters, Commonwealth Building, Downtown, September 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Men with protest signs reading “City Unfair to Employees” picketing on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Protest against slum housing outside Commonwealth Savings and Loan Association, with sign reading “We’re in this fight together: NAACP, Urban League, CASH…,” c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety; Heinz Family Fund

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Broadside for Black Panther Manifesto on trial of Bobby Seale, pasted on window in Homewood, April 1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Protesters, possibly including Nate Smith on megaphone in front of others, including James McCoy, Matthew Moore Sr., Vince Matthews, Herbert Bean, Dr. Charles Greenlee, Rev. Donald McIlvane, Charles Kendall, Charles Michaels, Mike Desmond, Byrd Brown, Gabby Russell, and Pauline Hall demonstrating against discrimination at US Steel in front of Union Trust Building, Downtown, June 1966, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Members of Black Berets of Homewood leading protest march against discrimination in construction jobs, Fifth Avenue, Oakland, August 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Protesters, including Rev. Bill Powell, James McCoy, Mal Goode, Byrd Brown, possibly Jim Scott, and Rev. LeRoy Patrick, with signs reading: “Job opportunities for us too,” “We just want our God-given rights,” and “The soundness of our cause should prick your conscience,” outside Civic Arena, Lower Hill District, October 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Jesse Jackson and group of civil rights advocates, including Bob Collins, George Simmons, Ewari [Ed] Ellis, Luther Sewell, and Clyde Jackson, preparing for press conference, March 1972, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Protesters outside of U. S. Steel building, including Byrd Brown with sign reading “NAACP PGH Branch,” and Judge Henry Smith with sign reading “US Steel still has segregated facilities in 1966,” Downtown, June 1966 black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Protesters including Baptist Temple Reverend J. A. Williams and woman with sandwich board reading “Protest – racial discrimination in employment breeds poverty, poverty breeds communism, this company has a discriminatory employment pattern, NAACP youth council,” c. 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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NAACP protesters James “Jim” McCoy and Matthew Moore, in front of Beck Shoe Store with signs inscribed “Help Mr. K. in Washington, Hurt Mr. K in Moscow,” Fifth Avenue, Downtown, December 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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K. Leroy Irvis and Pittsburgh Police Assistant Superintendent Lawrence J. Maloney at NAACP demonstration against employment policies, Downtown, c. 1963, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Black Monday Demonstration on behalf of Black Construction Council, Rev. Jimmy Joe Robinson preparing to lead protest march, with Ron Davenport, Norman Johnson, Rev. Bill Powell, Bill Banks, Lloyd Bell, Mike Desmond, men in hard hats, and others carrying flags with wreath wrapped around fist motif, at Freedom Corner with St. Benedict the Moor church in background, September 1969, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Crowd, including nuns and clergy, in Point State Park with stairs in background, possibly during Black Construction Coalition protest, c. 1965–1975, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Men from McKees Rocks throwing mock casket with signs reading “For Immediate Action Keep Your Local Community Program Alive,” into river for protest against cutbacks of poverty program, the Point, Downtown, January 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Men protesting, including Henry Smith, Mal Goode, Byrd Brown, and Boyd L. Wilson, outside of Woolworth’s, carrying sign reading “The Battle for Civil Rights is not only a Negro Problem, but the Concern of all Good Americans,” Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue, Downtown, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Women, including Marva Jo Hord (Harris), protesting outside of Woolworth’s carrying signs reading “A protest against this co. policy in the south,” “Chatham students protest civil rights violation,” and “Chatham students protest Woolworth lunch counter segregation,” Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue, Downtown, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Dr. T.R.M. Howard standing behind podium on stage at Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Hall, with full audience, seen from above, for NAACP protest rally, October 1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Large group of men and women standing on sidewalks in front of United States Post Office building, some carrying signs inscribed “ADA says now” and “Western Pennsylvania Marches for Jobs and Freedom”, men wearing dark military uniforms on sidewalk on right, buildings in background, c. 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

 

New Hire: Emily Rice


emilyWhat is your official title, and what are some of your general responsibilities?
Exhibition designer. My main responsibility is to work with our curatorial staff to design our exhibitions from concept through execution. I work through drawings, models, and renderings, which have either handmade physical versions or computer-aided digital versions. I work extensively with Hannah Silbert and Jeff Lovett in the exhibitions department to make sure that each exhibition fulfills the goals of the curatorial team and the museum while working within the project’s budget and schedule. I am also tasked with maintaining continuity in the museum’s style and appearance in terms of casework, exhibition layouts, furnishings, lighting, and a thousand other criteria which comprise an exhibition.

What were you doing before joining us at CMOA?
I was working for a company, TAKTL, which manufactures ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) building cladding panels. I was an architectural projects manager, which meant I handled relationships with architects and installers from the initial point of inquiry through to the purchase of the product, providing technical support, pricing, design assistance, etc., along the way. I also looked after the samples program and a small line of UHPC furniture. Before TAKTL, I was special projects assistant at CMOA for White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes, a 2012 exhibition curated by Raymund Ryan in the Heinz Architectural Center. I also worked for a few different architecture firms in Pittsburgh after receiving my B.Arch. from Carnegie Mellon University.

What’s your favorite exhibition that you saw this past year (at any museum/event)?
I had a great day walking through the Mike Kelley retrospective at the PS1 in Queens this fall (see above) which was impressive in its sheer size and variety of experience, let alone the actual installations. Another definite highlight was visiting the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, more so for the amazing architecture than anything else.

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Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Domestic), 2002, cast plaster on various armatures; Owned jointly by Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Henry L. Hillman Fund

If you could steal one artwork from our collection, what would it be?
Rachel Whiteread’s Untitled (Domestic). The piece, a very large negative casting of a staircase, is owned jointly by CMOA and the Albright-Knox Museum, where it is currently on view. Given its enormous size, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be carrying out that plan.

Five things you can’t live without?
Yoga, graph paper, sewing machine, a kitchen, coffee.

Describe Pittsburgh in five words or less.
Watch out for the ravines.

Favorite hobbies? Or any other projects you’d like to share?
I’m a founding board member at Assemble, a small non-profit community arts and technology space on Penn Avenue here in Pittsburgh, and I currently serve as secretary of the board. We’re heavily volunteer-run and we have a working board, so I spend a bit of my free time working to keep the organization running smoothly.

Women of the Civil Rights Movement


In honor of Black History Month, below are some photographs of local women who aided in the struggle of Civil Rights, as seen through the lens of Charles “Teenie” Harris. In Teenie’s heyday, these ladies were quite instrumental and inspirational in the fight for racial equality. Their plight was most often displayed in a quiet yet unyielding push in education, social services, employment, charitable aid, medicine, and housing. As wives and mothers, their strength propelled them to build a better world, not only for themselves, but for the generations to come. We thank these pillars of society.

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Group portrait of NAACP workers, seated from left: Melusena Carl Whitlock, Lucy Robinson or Susan Fowler, Coretta Ogborne or Ogburn, John G. Jones, Romaine Jackson Childs; standing: Rev. Samuel L. Spear and Boyd L. Wilson, gathered around table for 1954 NAACP Membership Campaign, May 1954, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Men and women wearing name tags that read “NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference”, possibly including Peggy Lavelle standing second from left, and Alma Speed Fox seated second from right, at registration table, October 23-25, 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Louis Mason Jr. of the NAACP presenting plaque to Edward Young, Program director of KDKA, wearing eyeglasses, with inscription “Radio Station KDKA…National Association for the Advancement of Colored People”, with Rosa Parks standing between them, 1958, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Eight women, members of the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, modeling suits, left to right, seated: Barbara Pollard, Amelia Dobbs, and Barbara Alston Clark; standing: June Gibson, Patricia Yancey, Patricia Prattis, Jewel Clark Taylor, and Linda Pollard, posed for youth fashion show at Carnegie Institute of Technology, another version, June 1962, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Thelma Lovette, Andrea Williams, and Nadine Woodward, gathered at table for Sequoires Tri Hi-Y Club meeting in Centre Avenue YMCA, February 1962, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Fourteen women, including Marilyn Ware [Parker], Coretta Osbourne, Alma Speed Fox, ? Hall, and Dolores Stanton in back row, NAACP Women’s Auxiliary members, posed in interior with floral bouquet wallpaper, another version, 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of Judge Henry Smith, Marion Bond Jordon, Daisy Lampkin, possibly Margie Walton, and Bishop Charles Foggie, standing in interior with vent in ceiling, c. 1945-1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Portrait of Alma Speed Fox wearing dark double breasted suit with striped scarf, leading hand on back of metal folding chair, 1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait from left: C. Dolores Tucker, Alma Speed presenting “Daisy Lampkin Award” bowl to Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, and Mary Gloster, at Women’s Auxiliary of NAACP dinner dance, Roosevelt Hotel, February 1967, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of five women, Mai Ratcliffe, Mabel Bookert, Mary Jane Page, Elizabeth Younge, and Miriam Fountain, posed behind table for initiation into Links Club, in home of Daisy Lampkin with floral wallpaper, June 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait of unknown man, Marion Bond Jordon, Rev. LeRoy Patrick, and Rev. Charles Foggie at podium, on stage at Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Hall for NAACP protest rally, October 1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait including, seated left to right, Jessie Vann, Atty. Henry Smith, Irving Beauford, Matthew Moore, Florence J. Reizenstein, and Sylvester Anderson, standing from left to right, Louis Mason Jr., Theodore Jones, and Clarence “Larry” Huff, gathered around banquet table for the NAACP Human Rights dinner, October-November 1957, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Mary Alexander, Daisy E. Lampkin, Dorothy Height, and Mary White, gathered for Pittsburgh Council of Negro Women event at Warren Methodist Church, May 1958, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

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Group portrait, seated from left: Mrs. Albert Goldsmith, Florence J. Reizenstein, Mrs. O. S. Bond, Charlene Foggie, Mrs. Sari Patton, Mrs. Harold Jones, Mrs. William Frederick; standing: Mrs. J. P. Howell, Bernice Utterback, Charlotte Primas, Alma Pulliam, Mrs. B. Dykes, Mrs. William Goode, Mrs. William Morgan, Aileen Sawyer, Marion Bond Jordon, Mrs. H. Morrison, Marie Robinson, Mrs. Robert Lavelle, Hazel Garland, Mrs. LuGene Bray, Mrs. Leslie Shelton, Mrs. E. Burley, and Madeline Sharpe Foggie, gathered in garden of Jordon home, Andover Terrace, September 1961, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund

Group portrait of two men, and fifteen women, including seated: Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, second on left, Mary McLeod Bethune, center, and Jessie Vann, second from left; and standing: Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, second on left, Alma Illery, center, and Alma Polk, right, possibly at banquet for the Pittsburgh Branch of the National Council of Negro Women, c. 1949, black and white: Agfa Safety Film, Heinz Family Fund

Group portrait of two men, and fifteen women, including seated: Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, second on left, Mary McLeod Bethune, center, and Jessie Vann, second from left; and standing: Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, second on left, Alma Illery, center, and Alma Polk, right, possibly at banquet for the Pittsburgh Branch of the National Council of Negro Women, c. 1949 black and white: Agfa Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund