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Posing Beauty explores the ways in which African American beauty has been represented in the media in both historical and contemporary contexts. In three thematic sections, "Constructing a Pose," "Body and Image," and "Modeling Beauty and Beauty Contests." This exhibition examines contemporary understandings of beauty by framing the notion of aesthetics, race, class and gender within art, popular culture, and political contexts. Posing Beauty features approximately nearly 100 works drawn from public and private collections and will be accompanied by a book by the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Deborah Willis, Chair of the Photography and Imaging Department at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.

Posing Beauty consists of three thematic sections:

+ Constructing a Pose considers the interplay between the historical and the contemporary, between self representation and imposed representation, and the relationship between subject and photographer.
+ Body and Image questions the ways in which our contemporary understanding of beauty has been constructed and framed through the body.
+ Modeling Beauty and Beauty Contests invites a deeper reading of beauty, its impact on mass culture and individuals and how the display of beauty affects the ways in which we see and interpret the world and ourselves.

The exhibition has been organized by Curatorial Assistance, Inc. and is accompanied
by a catalogue published by W.W. Norton & Company Inc.  The catalogue is available for purchase through our Museum Shop.

Group Tours
: Guided Viewing for Groups of ten or more must be arranged in advance. Call 973.596.6613 to reserve.

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Star Ledger 



Banner image (left to right): 

Ken Ramsay, Susan Taylor, as Model, c. 1970s, Gelatin silver print, 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 in., Courtesy of Curatorial Assistance, Inc.; Jeffrey Henson Scales, Denzel Washington, Los Angeles, c. 1990s, Gelatin silver print, Courtesy of Curatorial Assistance, Inc.  

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