The Cooper Gallery presents the evocative work of internationally acclaimed photography and video installation artist Carrie Mae Weems, recipient of the 2013 MacArthur “Genius” grant and the 2015 W. E. B. Du Bois Medal. Curated by Vera Ingrid Grant, the exhibition highlights Weems' storytelling tableaux that question our social constructs of power, race, and space and pose a more multi-dimensional concept of humanity. Organized in three parts, Beauty, Legacies, and Landscapes, the installation illuminates our social and aesthetic vistas—both real and imagined—and centers on Weems' stunning expressions of black beauty.



Installation Views

Curated by Cooper Gallery Director Vera Ingrid Grant, in collaboration with the artist, the exhibition highlighted Weems’ tableaux of storytelling and questioned the social constructs of power, race and space. “Carrie Mae Weems: I once knew a girl…”  comprised 52 works of photography and video installation in three interlinked sections: Beauty, Legacies and Landscapes. In each, Grant says, Weems critiqued the historical and contemporary cultural “productions” that envelop and form us; she exposed their pervasive power, and made their illusions discernable.

A good story can recast the familiar and reveal something new.
— Susan Saccoccia, Bay State Banner on "I once knew a girl..."