The Energy of Youth: Depicting Childhood in the NCMA’s Photography Collection

September 26, 2015—April 3, 2016
North Carolina Museum of Art
The Energy of Youth: Depicting Childhood in the NCMA’s Photography Collection highlights some of the most engaging photographs of children and adolescents from the North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

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Although sometimes seen as clichéd or mundane, images of children are frequently suffused with the energy of youth, which never ceases to provide opportunities for us to question how we see ourselves and the world around us. This exhibition celebrates the sensitivity brought to these moments of innocence, reflection, play, and transition.

This collection of images demonstrates that there is no universal experience of childhood, and instead challenges viewers to consider the unique experience of each child as deserving compassion and understanding. Many of the works ask us to consider the development of identity and to recognize how aspects of gender, ethnicity, race, or class begin to affect our lives from a very young age. These photographs also ask us to think critically about how a society might value, learn from, and support its youngest members. 

Artists in this exhibition include Bill Bamberger, Luis Rey Velasco, Sally Mann, David Spear, Barbara Morgan, Margaret Sartor, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Linda Foard Roberts, Erwin Olaf, and Titus Brooks Heagins.

Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.


Titus Brooks Heagins, Devonte, 2008, giclée digital print, 42 x 62 in., Gift of Maureen Cullins and Titus Brooks Heagins


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