Infused with story-telling and designed to raise awareness about contemporary poverty, the innovative exhibition guide that accompanied the Dorothea Lange’s America exhibit has won a top honor. Produced in a special collaboration between Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the tabloid has been awarded first place in the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) 2019 Museum Publications Design Competition. Dorothea Lange’s America chronicled the hardship and heartbreak of a Depression-era generation through some of the most arresting images of the 20th century.
The exhibition guide itself shared reflections on Lange’s work, and contrasted her art with images and stories of contemporary hunger, as witnessed by Second Harvest Food Bank. It was distributed at the exhibit, and also more than 47,000 copies of the Lange tabloid newspaper were distributed in the Winston-Salem Journal.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s CEO, Eric Aft, says “Poverty remains persistent and significant in our communities. Contemporary poverty looks different from the poverty of Lange’s time, making it sometimes unrecognizable and hard to see, but its impacts on children, on seniors, on families and on community health remain the same. The human toll of tenacious poverty and low wage work, coupled with a rising cost of living, means many families struggle to afford enough food and meet other basic needs. The Dorothea Lang exhibition served to bring renewed and profound visibility to this struggle.”
“Art has long been a medium through which people like Lange have not only documented history, but have also helped shape it. We are honored by this innovative partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank in a rare blending of missions, fusing art and empathy to elevate the chronic needs of this thriving community,” said Phil Archer, deputy director at Reynolda House. “The winning publication, designed by Reynolda’s visual storyteller Aaron Canipe, illustrated past and present hardships with beauty and compassion.”