Category Archives: Archive of Documentary Arts

“Cedric Chatterley: Photographs of Honeyboy Edwards”

Date: 18 January-28 March 2010
Location and Time: Special Collections Gallery during library hours
Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)duke.edu

David “Honeyboy” Edwards at home on South Wells near 43rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, winter, 1994.


In this series of black and white photographs, photographer Cedric Chatterley traces the life of blues musician David “Honeyboy” Edwards, beginning at his birth place in Shaw, Mississippi and continuing through the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. Chatterley drove thousands of miles—often with Honeyboy himself—photographing important people and places in Honeyboy’s long career, as well as his performances at blues festivals, concerts, and recording sessions.

Reflecting on the photographs, Chatterley writes, “Touring with Honeyboy in the 1990s, and also traveling alone with his life’s story in hand, were formative times for me as an image maker. . . . From him I learned that there is a rhythm, a cadence, and a particular way in which time and sight and sound and memory—expressed and unexpressed—are inseparable when they come together to shape an image, whether that image is delivered in the form of a song, photograph, or any other form of expression.”

If you’re unable to visit the libraries, you can still see the photographs in the online exhibit.

These photographs belong to the Cedric N. Chatterley Photographs, 1985-2003 (collection inventory here), a collection recently acquired by the RBMSCL’s Archive of Documentary Arts. For more information on using this collection, contact the RBMSCL at special-collections(at)duke.edu.

On 28 January, two additional exhibits of Chatterley’s work—including his handmade cameras—will open at the Center for Documentary Studies. The CDS will also host a public reception for Chatterley that evening at 6 PM. More information is available here.

“The Bathers”: Exhibit Opening and Reception

Date: Thursday, 12 November 2009
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)duke.edu

Budapest, Hungary, 2006
Budapest, Hungary, 2006

Photographer Jennette Williams, winner of the 2008 Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, will speak about her recent work, which centers on women in the ancient communal bathhouses of Budapest and Istanbul. A selection of these photographs have been gathered for “The Bathers: Photographs by Jennette Williams,” currently on view in the Special Collections Gallery through 13 December, 2009. Her book, The Bathers, will be published this month by Duke University Press in association with the Center for Documentary Studies.

These stunning platinum prints of women bathers—which draw on gestures and poses found in iconic paintings of nude women, such as those of Cézanne and Ingres—take us inside spaces intimate and public, austere and sensuous. Over a period of eight years, Williams photographed, without sentimentality or objectification, women daring enough to stand naked before her camera. Young and old, these women inhabit and display their bodies with comfort and ease.

Williams is a photography instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has a master’s degree from Yale University and has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Copies of The Bathers will be available for purchase and signing at the event. The quad in front of Duke Chapel has been reserved for parking. Additional parking is available in the parking deck behind the Bryan Center (view campus map).

Rights! Camera! Action!: No Umbrella and Please Vote for Me

Date: Tuesday, 3 November, 2009
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

Celebrate Election Day at the second installment of Rights! Camera! Action! This monthly film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

No Umbrella (26 minutes) shows Fannie Lewis in action on November 2, 2004 as she struggles to manage a polling station in a predominantly African American precinct in Cleveland, Ohio. Facing record numbers at the polls, Ms. Lewis spends her day on a cell phone begging for the machines and the technical support Ward 7 needs to handle the throngs of frustrated voters. This documentary won the Jury Award for Best Short at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Please Vote for Me (58 minutes) is a portrait of a society and a town in through a school, its children and its families. In Wuhan, China, a 3rd grade class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents.

Kerry L. Haynie of Duke’s Department of Political Science and Ralph Litzinger of Duke’s Department of Cultural Anthropology will lead discussion following the films.