Photographs by Richard Stockton College professor Wendel White, of Galloway Township, are on display at the official governor’s residence in Trenton as part of the state’s celebration of Black History Month.
The photographs include selections from White’s Small Towns, Black Lives portfolio and about 10 from his Schools for the Colored collection.
The Small Towns project, begun in 1989, features early African American settlements in South Jersey such as Whitesboro in Cape May, Port Republic and Newtonville in Atlantic County and Gouldtown in Cumberland County. The schools project, started in 2004, features photos of segregated schools in several states. The 10 photos chosen for the exhibit feature schools in New Jersey, including the former Franklin Street School in Cape May.
“It was a little overwhelming,” White said of the reception hosted by first lady Pat Christie at the residence, Drumthwacket, on Thursday. “I had never been to the mansion before.”
A native of Newark, White teaches photography at Stockton as a distinguished professor of art. He is currently working on a new project titled “Manifesto” which involves photographing objects in public collections that have had an impact on African-American history, from the North American settlements to civil rights.
Among the items he has photographed so far are a lock of 19th century civil rights activist Frederick Douglass’ hair, Civil Rights buttons, abolition tokens, and the bill of sale for a slave from the 1800s.
“I am really interested in the buildings, the landscape, and the objects left behind,” White said. About 60 photos have been completed.
White said he was honored to be chosen for the exhibit. Last year the work of local artist and illustrator E.B. White was exhibited at Drumthwacket.
In a statement issued by the governor’s office Pat Christie said she was pleased to use Drumthwacket as a means to showcase New Jersey’s diversity and pride.
“Wendel White’s photographic works provide a visual illustration of New Jersey’s rich and storied African American heritage,” she said.
White’s photos will remain on display in the Music Room at Drumthwacket though April 5 and can be viewed during public tours held at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Contact Diane D'Amico: