The Bruce Museum has opened In Time We Shall Know Ourselves, an exhibition of black-and-white photographs by New Haven photographer Raymond Smith. The exhibition will be on display in the Museum’s Bantle Lecture Gallery through June 3, 2018.
Inspired by the photographs taken in the American South in the 1930s by Walker Evans, a teacher and mentor of Smith at Yale University, as well as by Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958), in the summer of 1974 Smith embarked on a photographic expedition of his own. Smith traveled with his friend Suzanne Boyd in an aging Volkswagen from New England through the South and into the Midwest, camping and photographing people and places he encountered during the three-month journey.
Intending to write a Ph.D. thesis in American Studies, Smith instead channeled his intense curiosity about his country and its inhabitants into a moving suite of portraits, works that are at once down-to-earth, melancholy, and filled with surprise.
The exhibition features 52 photographs, most of which are vintage prints. Smith also has produced a book, In Time We Shall Know Ourselves. In the book Smith explains where he got the title. Driving south toward New Orleans and on the outskirts of Hattiesburg, Miss., midway through his trip he saw this sign: “In time we shall know ourselves/ Even as also we are known/ As we ourselves are known.”
The Bruce Museum will host a reception and artist talk for the exhibition on Sunday, April 15, 3 – 5 pm. At 3:30 pm, Raymond Smith will present a lecture titled, “I Am a Camera,” which will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. The reception is free for Museum members and students (with valid ID); non-members $15. Advance registration is required, as seating is limited. To reserve your seat, please visit brucemuseum.org and click “Reservations,” or call 203-869-0376.