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Voice of the Photographer: Ron Tarver

April 10 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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The spring 2024 Muscarelle Explorations lecture series will explore the art of photography and its power to tell human stories.

For nearly 50 years, photographer Ron Tarver’s work has explored facets of the Black community. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist with The Philadelphia Inquirer, he produced photo essays on subjects ranging from double-dutch jump rope to the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. His exhibitions have explored Black architectural legacy and the experiences of Black Veterans, and his most recent project appropriates images his father made in the 1940s-1950s to comment on the current racial climate. His broad range of works shows his love for the medium relating to the community at large and the deeply personal.

This lecture will take place in Tucker Hall Theatre (Room 127A). Registrants will receive a parking pass by email; street parking is also available along Richmond Rd.

Ron Tarver received a BA in Journalism and Graphic Arts from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma and an MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Swarthmore College. Before joining the faculty at Swarthmore, he had been a staff photojournalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 32 years, where he shares the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his work on a series documenting school violence in the Philadelphia public school system. During his time at the Inquirer, he was nominated for three Pulitzers and honored with awards from World Press Photos, the Sigma Delta Chi Award of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Profession National Press Photographers Association/ University of Missouri Pictures of the Year, as well as other national, state, and local honors.

In addition to his newspaper publications, Tarver’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Ebony, Jet, Black and White Magazine, Huffington Post, and Hyperallergic. He is a co-author of the book We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, published by Harper Collins in 2004, which was accompanied by a traveling exhibition that debuted at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Tarver’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in over 30 solo and 50 group exhibitions. It is included in many private, corporate, and museum collections, including the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Oklahoma History Center, and many other corporate and private collections. His work is represented by the Robin Rice Gallery in New York and Grand Image in Seattle.


April 10
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Tucker Hall, Tucker Theater
350 James Blair Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23185 United States
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