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Opie Evans Exhibit Extended

07/30/2014

Opie Evans with camera

The University of Akron Archival Services, a division of University Libraries, is pleased to announce that the exhibition on the photography of Opie Evans at the Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron’s Black History and Culture has been extended until early November.  Evans was a local reporter, broadcaster, publisher, and businessman and one of the earliest African-American photographers in Akron.  His photography documents the local African-American community as well as other segments of the city’s population from the mid-1940s through the early 1970s.   

The exhibit, which is titled “This is Akron with Opie Evans: The Rubber City as Seen through the Lens of One of Its Earliest African-American Photographers,” features 58 photographs from Mr. Evans’ catalogue that capture the work and leisure of Akronites—particularly African-Americans—from every walk of life from the end of the Second World War through the civil rights era.  This includes leaders, politicians, and professionals in addition to the indigent and working class.  The images are from Evans’ collection that is part of the extensive holdings of Archival Services. 

The exhibit, which was guest curated by S. Victor Fleischer, University Archivist, Head of Archival Services, and Associate Professor of Bibliography, was a collaboration between the McClain Gallery, the Pan-African Center for Community Studies, and Archival Services of University Libraries.  According to Fleischer, “the photographs are incredibly significant as they visually document an important and transitional time in the city’s and the nation’s history and capture a segment of the local population that is seldom documented elsewhere.” He adds: “We are pleased that the exhibit is being extended so that more people will have the opportunity to see it and learn something new about African-American history and Akron’s past.” 

The Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron’s Black History and Culture is located in the Buckingham Building at The University of Akron.  Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and admission is free to the public.  Further information about the Gallery can be obtained at http://www.uakron.edu/ie/offices/

The Opie Evans Papers and other historical resources on local African-American history and the history of the region are available by visiting Archival Services located in Room LL10 of the Polsky Building in downtown Akron.  Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Additional information about Archival Services and its collections can be accessed on the department’s website at http://www.uakron.edu/libraries/archives.