UCR ARTS announces a historic new photographic exhibition nearly a century in the making: “KD Ganaway: From Butler to Race Photographer.”
It showcases the artistic work of King Daniel "KD" Ganaway who was among the earliest Black photographers of renown in the United States. The exhibition will be open Feb. 25 - Aug. 6 at the California Museum of Photography, the largest photographic center in the western United States housing 500,000 photographs and objects, including one of the country’s most comprehensive camera collections.
A reception will be held on Feb. 25, from 5-7 p.m. at the California Museum of Photography. It is free, open to the public, and unticketed. A tour will be offered at 4 p.m. and led by Ganaway’s descendants, Tim and Brenda Fredericks and Daryl Webb, who also serve as the exhibition’s curators.
The new exhibition represents the first contemporary museum presentation of the life and work of Ganaway since the 1930s when his gelatin silver prints were exhibited in photographic salons across America. Self-taught, Ganaway worked as a butler in Chicago for 18 years where his employer, a wealthy widow, allowed him one day off every two weeks which he spent perfecting his craft.
Self-described as a “race photographer,” Ganaway’s prints of Chicago landscapes and industry were widely circulated in prominent magazines throughout the 1920s including National Geographic. His lens captured images of people of African descent rising to political and cultural prominence as well as those who were marginalized in south side Chicago’s “Bronzeville” district.
“Since 1990, we've owned a quite gorgeous print of ‘The Spirit of Transportation,’ Ganaway's breakthrough photograph, donated to the collection by singer-songwriter Graham Nash,” said Douglas McCulloh, UCR ARTS senior curator and interim executive director. “But it is through the extensive research of Ganaway’s descendants, Tim and Brenda Fredericks and Daryl Webb, that we can share his story.”
UCR ARTS is located at 3824 Main Street in Riverside
Media Contact: Jeff Girod, assistant dean of marketing and communications for the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.