Portrait of The First Lady

A stunning, visual biography of Michelle Obama that finally puts her phenomenal fame into a cultural and historical context we can now all understand…

There has never been a First Lady like her before. While there have been a slew of Obama celebrity books, none contain the message of Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard’s eye-opening book. With nearly 200 compelling photographs, these two noted scholars capture Michelle Obama’s dramatic transformation from working mother to First Lady, from her first tentative steps on the campaign trail, to her spontaneous hug of the Queen, to her fairytale-like “Date Night” on Broadway. Not since Jacqueline Kennedy has there been a First Lady who has so enchanted America, but in her down-to-earth dealings with all Americans – schoolchildren, military families, and home gardeners alike – and in her diverse fashion taste, from J. Crew to Jason Wu, Michelle Obama is inexplicably all pearls, all business, all mother.
The authors show how Obama represents the culmination of America’s evolving views on women, race, motherhood, and beauty. Much more than a mere catalogue of style, Michelle Obama, is a remarkable pictorial story of one woman’s hold on our imagination.

Deborah Willis, a MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fletcher fellow, is the author of Reflections in Black, Posing Beauty and the New York Times-bestselling The Historic Campaign. Emily Bernard is the author of Remember Me To Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She teaches at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

Submitted by: Winfrida Mbewe, Publicity Manager - W. W. Norton & Company 500 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10110 ph:212/790-4325, fax:212/869-0856 http://www.wwnorton.com

Art in the Atrium is proud to feature the art and photography of Deborah Willis in our 2010 Exhibit: “Wonderfully Made.” Willis is a celebrated contemporary African American artist, photographer, curator of photography, photographic historian, author, and educator. Most recently noted as the author of the best-selling Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs and the award-winning Reflections in Black. A recipient of MacArthur "genius" Award, Guggenheim, and Fletcher Fellowships, Willis has curated numerous exhibitions while continuing to work as the chair of the Photography and Imaging Department at the Tisch School of the Arts, and as a professor at New York University.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Willis is also the mother of one son, Hank Willis Thomas, a contemporary African American visual artist and photographer in his own right, whose primary interests are race, advertising and popular culture. Thomas work will be on display along side his mother's in the 2010 exhibit . Despite personal challenges, Willis survived a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001, she continues to be a prolific ardent historian of the black experience in America. Our twentieth anniversary just two years away, and considering her recent work with both President and First Lady Obama, we are please at this point in our history to highlight the work of this important artist.

Exhibitions curated include:
"Posing Beauty in African American Culture," showing Fall 2009 at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and touring in the U.S. through December 2012.
"Reflections in Black," Arts and Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2000, on African American photography. The exhibition in whole or in part traveled widely in the U.S. between 2000 and 2003.
"Constructed Images: New Photography," which traveled between 1989 and 1992

Books written or co-authored include:
(2009) Progeny: Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas.
(2009). Posing Beauty: African American images from the 1890s to the present.
(2008). Obama: the historic campaign in photographs.
(2007). Let your motto be resistance: African American portraits.
(2005). African American vernacular photography: selections from the Daniel Cowin Collection.
(2005). Family history memory: recording African American life.
(2004). Black: a celebration of a culture.
(2003). A small nation of people: W.E.B. Du Bois and African-American portraits of progress.
(2002). The black female body: a photographic history.
(2002). One shot Harris: the photographs of Charles "Teenie" Harris.
(2000). Reflections in Black: a history of Black photographers, 1840 to the present.
(1996). The family of black America.
(1996). Visual journal: Harlem and D.C. in the thirties and forties.
(1995). Million man march.
(1994). Imagining families: images and voices.
(1994). Picturing us: African American identity in photography.
(1994). Harlem Renaissance: art of Black America.
(1993). J.P. Ball, daguerrean and studio photographer.
(1993). VanDerZee, photographer, 1886-1983.
(1992). Early Black photographers, 1840-1940: 23 postcards.
(1992). Lorna Simpson. San Francisco: Friends of Photography.
(1989). Black photographers bear witness: 100 years of social protest.
(1989). An illustrated bio-bibliography of Black photographers, 1940-1988.
(1987). Harlem Renaissance: art of Black America.
(1985). Black photographers, 1840-1940: an illustrated bio-bibliography

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ATA ANNOUNCES OUR 2012 EXHIBITING ARTISTS... for 20th Anniversary Show


Upcoming 20th Annual Anniversary EXHIBIT & SALE at the Morris Museum: "Celebrating 20 Years of Showcasing Art by African Americans"
master artist, abstract expressionist Norman Lewis ...with his daughter, guest curator Tarin Fuller

Stay tuned for additional programming and events at the Museum related to the Exhibit - TBA

2012 Sponsors:

The exhibition and catalog have been supported, in part, by grants from the African American Fund of New Jersey and the Arts Council of the Morris Area through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Department of State, a Partner Agency to the National Endowment of the Arts, and by Patrons of Art In The Atrium, Inc., and by donations from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation,Tea & Wings Studio LLC, and the Morris Museum.

LENDERS TO THE EXHIBIT: Francis and Miriam Carter, Washington, DC; Charles and Victoria Craig, Morristown, NJ; Tarin M. Fuller / Iandor Gallery, Newark, NJ; Walter Goodwin, Ramsey, NJ; Catherine J. Lenix-Hooker, Newark, NJ; Janet Randolph Lowry, Washington, DC; Tyrone and Sylvia Lynch, Morristown, NJ; Marjorie Rich, Basking Ridge, NJ; Charles and Wanda Stansbury, Pennington, NJ; Donald and Naomi Still, Morristown, NJ; Kevin Wright, Plainfield, NJ