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Kohl Gallery

Looking Back

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“Looking Back” was the Senior Capstone Experience of Riley Carbonneau ’10, a double major in Art and Art History and Sociology and a Kohl Gallery Intern. Under the supervision of Drs. Donald McColl in Art and Art History and Erin Anderson in Sociology, the exhibition represented a new opportunity for Art and Art History majors at the college to curate a show of their own choosing.

Remembered personally by many in the Chestertown community, Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914-2000) is internationally recognized for her work as a photographer, which began well before she settled on the Eastern Shore and established her long association with Washington College. In addition to her singular contributions to Friends of the Arts and the Department of Art, she left the College another legacy: a sizable collection of photographic prints, which are the subject of this exhibition.

Focus of the Exhibit

Part of a project involved art-historical and sociological research and newly recorded oral histories, “Looking Back” contributes to ongoing reassessment of Larrabee’s work. Focusing on South Africa and World War II, the photos selected for this exhibition not only highlight documentary and formal qualities promoted by Larrabee herself, but also raise questions of meaning and context that make themselves apparent over time and continue to evolve with the differing perspectives on her photography.

The Exhibition was followed by a lecture organized by Carbonneau, who worked to bring Christraud Geary, the Teel Senior Curator of African and Oceanic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to the campus. Geary’s lecture focused on Larrabee’s photographs from South Africa and was titled “The Photographer’s Eye: Constance Stuart Larrabee’s Images of the Ndebele Peoples.”