Dawoud Bey - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Dawoud Bey is one of America’s most important portrait photographers. The Birmingham Project is the artist’s tribute to the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. In each diptych, Bey shows a young person, the same age as one of the victims - Addie Mae Collins (14), Denise McNair (11), Carole Robertson (14), and Cynthia Wesley (14) along with Virgil Ware (13) and Johnny Robinson (16) - who died as a result of the bombing, alongside that of an adult who lives in Birmingham and was the age the victim would have been in 2013 had they survived. By re-visualizing some of the youngest victims of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s next to a living example of their denied future, Bey refreshes our memory of the Birmingham tragedy and recontextualizes it into our current national awareness of the violence against African American bodies. Regarding this project Bey stated  “I began to think about this idea of how does one visualize the past in the contemporary moment, how does one make the past resonant in the present moment.”


    An exhibition of the Birmingham portraits was first shown at the Birmingham Museum of Art from September 08, 2013 - December 02, 2013. Another exhibition of this series Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project, was at the National Gallery of Art, from September 12, 2018 – April 22, 2019. More recently, Dawoud Bey: An American Project, a comprehensive survey of his work was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2021.


    Other portfolios are in the collections of the: Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas.

    • Literature

      Birmingham Museum of Art, Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project, cover, pp. 20-23, 26-29, 34-37
      Grand Rapids Art Museum, Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue, pls. 77, 78
      San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dawoud Bey: Two American Projects, pp. 84-87, 96-97, 104-105, 112-115

    • Catalogue Essay

      Other portfolios are in the collections of the RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas.


Birmingham: Four Girls, Two Boys

Stephen Daiter Gallery: Chicago, 2014.
Six pigment prints.

20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm)
Signed and numbered 6/20 in pencil on the colophon; each print initialed and numbered in pencil on the recto. Title page. Number 6 from an edition of 20 with 5 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $31,500

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs, New York

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 12 October 2022