The Black Panther, 1966-2016

Vitrine # 5: Reactions to the 1968 Exhibition at San Francisco's de Young Museum

In December 1968, Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones first exhibited their series on the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. Titled A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers, the exhibition drew a record number of visitors: 100,000. Most notable about the audience was the unprecedented number of black attendees who flocked to the museum during the months the exhibition was on view. Never before and not since A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers has the de Young seen such high numbers of black visitors come through its doors. The show’s popularity among people of color  is a testament to not only the immense importance of the Party to black communities in the Bay Area, but also the power of the image and representation for an historically under-represented group.


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