Everyday People: Snapshots of the Black Experience opens on January 20th at MoSH

The Museum of Science & History is pleased to announce an original exhibition of historical photographs of twentieth-century African American men, women, and families. Everyday People: Snapshots of the Black Experience opens on January 20th, 2024, in Gallery B on the 2nd floor of the museum. Historical photographs give modern viewers a mysterious glimpse into our ancestors’ lives.  

Everyday People: Snapshots of the Black Experience is a photography exhibition showcasing Memphis artist Eric Echols’s photo collection of twentieth-century African Americans. Consisting of studio and candid photos from 1900 until the 1950s, these images of anonymous families, women, men, and children invite visitors to explore photography as an art form, a window into history, and an important avenue for understanding Black culture.  


“Through this exhibition we hope to get people thinking about their own past and the ways in which family histories are revealed by photographs,” says Raka Nandi, Director of Exhibits and Collections for MoSH. 

Echols combines his love of collecting old photos of African Americans with his love for collecting antiques and vintage items that portray a different narrative of African Americans. “I would see people posting pictures of loved ones missing or that have died from violence and the only picture they would have to show would be an image depicting a negative viewpoint,” says Echols. “I wanted to find purpose in being deliberate in finding images that showed the beauty and resilience of African Americans. I feel that I am a steward over this collection and have been entrusted with ensuring that these images, the people and families represented here are not forgotten in hopes that someone will recognize a family member.

About Eric Echols
Eric Echols is a Memphis-based artist, educator, and art collector. A graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College and Union University, he teaches art and photography for Memphis Shelby County Schools where for the last 18 years he has helped students reach their fullest potential as emerging artists. Echols’s work combines mixed media and digital media illustrations to explore heritage, resilience, and nostalgia.  Echols’s desire to collect historical African American photographs comes from his love of vintage items and how these objects can portray a different narrative of the African American experience. This pursuit has led him to amass over 6,000 historical photographs, which provide a unique glimpse into African American history and culture

For more information, visit MoSH here.


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