Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane University will hold a celebration Saturday, Sept. 17, to highlight its newest exhibits — a photography collection focusing on transgender older adults and a display of rarely seen artwork from the museum’s permanent collection.
The photography exhibit, To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, is the result of a collaboration between photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis whose research focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and aging.
Metamorphoses: Highlights from the Permanent Collection contrasts iconic Newcomb Pottery with kinetic sculpture, photography and prints to explore ideas of change, transition and movement in both a literal and symbolic sense.
The celebration will take place from noon to 5 p.m. and include music, food, drop-in family art activities, an artist-led tour of Metamorphoses at 2 p.m. and a talk by Dugan at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The photography exhibit is based on five years of travels by Dugan and Fabbre as they sought subjects whose experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class and geographic location. They traveled throughout the United States documenting the life stories of transgender and gender nonconforming older adults, an important but largely underrepresented population.
The exhibition includes photographs, each paired with texts illuminating the life narratives of those photographed. Along with a hardcover book, the display aims to provide a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person.
Metamorphoses includes works that address human-built environments imperiled by natural disaster, encourage reflection on rhythm and movement and serve as metaphors for transformation and rebirth.
“This exhibition is an opportunity for the museum to share works from its permanent collection that are rarely seen,” said Maurita Poole, director of Newcomb Art Museum. “More important, the show gives the museum and its diverse audiences the chance to consider a new framework for thinking about Newcomb Art Museum’s collection and institutional history.”
The exhibit includes selections from past faculty and alumni of Newcomb College and Tulane University, including Harriet “Hattie” Coulter Joor, Marie de Hoa LeBlanc, Lin Emery, Sarah Agnes Estelle “Sadie” Irvine, Roberta Beverly Kennon, Ida Kohlmeyer, the Newcomb Guild, Betsy Packard, Gladys Gustine Randolph, George Rickey, Carlos Rolón, Cynthia Scott, John T. Scott, Jesús Rafael Soto, Melissa Turner Drumm, Michel Varisco, the Vestiges Project and Carrie Mae Weems. Over 35 objects, including sculpture, photographs, ceramic works and prints, are displayed.
Both exhibits will run through Dec. 10, 2022. For more information, go to newcombartmuseum.tulane.edu.