Public Enemy, 1987, archival vintage exhibition print, 13 x 19 in.

The Huntsville Museum of Art and the Museum’s Black History Month Committee will be celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend with a lecture and opening reception on Thursday, January 17. Harlem, Hollywood, Broadway: African American Legends Photographed by Jack Mitchell features 36 vintage black-and-white and color photographs of prominent African American artists and performers captured by Mitchell between 1961 and 2001.

Mitchell had a special relationship with the African American creative community and photographed some of its most prominent members during his career. Harlem, Hollywood, Broadway includes engaging images of singer-songwriter Harry Belafonte, singer Whitney Houston (in her first professional photo session), dance company founder Alvin Ailey, writer Toni Morrison, soprano Leontyne Price, singer Donna Summer, actors Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen, among others.

Donna Summer, 1977, archival vintage exhibition print, 19 x 13 in.

After Mitchell’s death in 2013, he left his photography archives to long-time friend, Craig Highberger. Highberger is currently the executive director of the Jack Mitchell Archives and will be leading a lecture on Mitchell’s career and the African American legends he photographed.  Following the talk, there will be a performance by Alabama A&M’s Jazz Ensemble and passed canapés by Chef Narvell.

Archie Tucker is a Museum Trustee and a member of the Museum’s Black History Month Committee. He said that the exhibition was something the committee wanted to bring to the Museum to help celebrate Black History Month.

“Black history is deeply woven into the fabric of American history,” said Tucker. “This exhibition will provide the community with amazing snapshots of some of the most talented African American entertainers spanning four decades.”

Tickets for the lecture and opening reception are available on the website here.  Member tickets are $25, and non-member tickets are $50. The exhibition lecture and opening reception is among the first of special programs planned for the Huntsville Museum of Art’s 50th Anniversary. To learn more about the upcoming events and exhibitions, visit our events calendar here.