O'Grady Visits Campus for Celebration and Lecture

November 15, 2012
lorraine o'grady photo diptych of egyptian bust and african american bride

Internationally recognized artist and writer Lorraine O'Grady '55 visits Wellesley on Thursday, November 15 to celebrate the opening of her archive to researchers around the world. O'Grady's collection is the first major acquisition of alumnae papers at the Wellesley College Archives.

A Boston native, Lorraine O'Grady is best known for conceptual installation and performance art. O’Grady was one of the first African-American feminist artists to gain attention for her "guerrilla" actions in the New York art scene in the 1970s and 1980s. Her 1980s performance as the persona "Mlle Bourgeoise Noire" won new acclaim in the landmark 2007 exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Her work has also been in such exhibits as the Whitney Biennial and the Triennale de Paris. O’Grady’s work will be featured in the new exhibit, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, opening November 15, 2012, at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. O'Grady's work is currently on view at the Davis Museum's exhibition, A Generous Medium: Photography at Wellesley 1972-2012

O'Grady's piece shown here, "Sisters I-IV," is from the Davis Museum's permanent collection. As described in the Davis:

Lorraine O’Grady’s Miscegenated Family Album consists of pairs of found photographs in which an image of her sister or a niece, selected from family albums, is uncannily matched with a stock photograph of a noted Egyptian sculpture. The remarkable twinning in the artist’s family snapshots and the photographs of Egyptian sculpture is truly startling when one learns that the relationships between the pairings mirror those in O’Grady’s family:

Nefertiti is paired with Lorraine’s sister, Devonia O’Grady Allen; Nefertiti’s sister, Mutnedjmet, is paired with Lorraine. And so it goes into the next generation. History becomes the present. The present becomes timeless.

Lecture and celebration at 5:00 pm in Collins Cinema features a talk by O'Grady, with a reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public.