Wednesday September 17, 2014

Hugh Mangum: groundbreaking photographer's work is resurrected in new exhibit

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Hugh Mangum self-portrait [PHOTO: Hugh Mangum Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

He was a one-of-a-kind photographer. But Hugh Mangum and his hundreds of his photos were lost and forgotten until Sarah Stacke stepped in. She is the curator of the exhibit called  Keep All You Wish: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum.

Today Hugh Mangum is being remembered as a man who used his camera to take portraits of all kinds of people -- black and white -- during a time of harsh racial discrimination and hatred in the U.S. south at the turn of the century.

Sarah Stacke, a photographer and photo archivist who teaches at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, tells Carol that Mangum was unusual because "his clients in general are very expressive...and the amount of diversity that is displayed on his negatives is unusual...the order of the images on the negatives themselves reflect the order his clients came into the studio -- and we can really see that he had a revolving door of diversity".

Stacke adds that Mangum was "a very gregarious guy. He was curious, he was charming, he was able to establish a relationship with his clients in a very short period of time and make them feel comfortable...he was a sensitive man."

Stacke hopes also to identify some of the people in the photographs by finding their descendants. She says she wants people to take a close look and see if they can recognize anyone.

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PHOTOS: Hugh Mangum Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

To learn more about Keep All You Wish: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, and to see more  photos, go to Sarah Stacke's website: http://www.sarahstacke.com/