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Maine’s Portland Museum of Art Displays Moving Todd Webb Works

by Debra Bokur

May 24, 2023

© Jiawangkun | Dreamstime.com


Following World War II and the burgeoning independence of nine African countries (some no longer nations), photographer Todd Webb — equipped with three cameras — made a journey on behalf of the United Nations Office of Public Information. His brief? Document the development of industry and technology underway in these places as they hovered on the cusp of enormous social, economic and political change.

Through June 18, visitors to Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine, can witness firsthand the result of Webb’s expeditions in Todd Webb in Africa. This riveting collection of images details Webb’s journey through Togo, Ghana, Sudan, Somalia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and Southern Rhodesia (now Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe), as well as Kenya, Tanganyika and Zanzibar (which later merged as Tanzania).

The exhibition was organized by Minneapolis Institute of Art, and includes selections from the nearly 2,000 full-color images he captured. It is accompanied by the book Todd Webb in Africa: Outside the Frame.

The book features 150 of these images, along with essays by co-authors Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan, which help illustrate the moment of each photo. Additionally, the book includes essays created by African and American scholars, writers, artists, historians and photographers.

Todd Webb is Africa was developed by Casey Riley, curator and head of the department of Photography & New Media at Mia, in conjunction with Bessire and Hyde Nolan. The current exhibit at Portland Museum of Art was prepared by Anjuli Lebowitz and sssociate curator of photography Judy Glickman Lauder, along with consulting curator Erin Hyde Nolan, Bates College and Tufts University. Portland Museum of Art is located at 7 Congress Square.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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