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The Photo Detective
30 min2020 OCT 18
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Rediscovering an American Community of Color


Most photo collectors dream about stumbling upon a significant collection that changes our understanding of photo history. For Frank Morrill, it was a series of connections that led to his purchasing a huge collection of glass negatives. Years later his granddaughter held one up and asked him about them. That second look led to a collaboration with a historian at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, an exhibit and an award winner catalog for the show. Those negatives documented the African American community in that city, a group of individuals studied by Janette Greenwood for a project on migrations. She never thought she’d see the faces of those individuals nor did the descendants of many of the people in the photographers. It was a case of photographic kismet.