Join SubText Books in the store on Wednesday, February 20th at 7:00 PM for an event with Sarah Stacke, author of “Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum.” Stacke will be in conversation with Lillian Zumberge, and a book signing will follow!
“Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum” is a close-up look at the life and work of early 20th century American photographer Hugh Mangum. The book was made in collaboration with Mangum’s granddaughter, Martha Sumler, and features never-before-seen photographs and ephemera from their family archive.
Born in 1877, the year the Civil War’s Reconstruction period ended, Mangum died in 1922, only three years after the First World War and two years after women gained the right to vote. During his lifetime the final battles of the Indian Wars were waged and the first law limiting the number of immigrants allowed in the US was passed. The personalities in Mangum’s images collectively, and often majestically, symbolize the triumphs and struggles of this pivotal era. An itinerant photographer primarily working in his home state of North Carolina and the Virginias, Mangum cultivated clientele from across racial and economic divides. Though the American South of his era was marked by disenfranchisement, segregation and inequality, Mangum portrayed all his sitters with candor and heart. Above all, he showed them as individuals.
A century after their making, Mangum’s photographs allow us a penetrating gaze into faces of the past, and in a large sense, they offer an unusually insightful glimpse of the South at the turn of the twentieth century.
In the years Stacke has spent with the Mangum Collection—imagining the distinct personalities and lives, their relationships to each other and to Mangum—the collection has evolved to represent a family album to her. Not only as its own entity, unfurled by the welcoming and harmonious spirit of Hugh Mangum, but also in the way she’s formed relationships with the images and the individuals in them.
About Sarah Stacke:
Sarah Stacke is a photographer and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. In 2012 she received a master’s degree from Duke University tailored to analyze photographic representations of African and African-American communities. For her capstone project Sarah extensively researched Hugh Mangum’s archive and curated the first-ever solo exhibition of his work, which was shown at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) in 2012. Shortly thereafter she wrote pieces for the New York Times and Aperture about Mangum and curated a major installation of his work at the Asheville Art Museum. Sarah has been an instructor at CDS since 2013 and is an adjunct faculty member at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and the International Center of Photography, where she teaches a course about the role archives play in society.
In her photography work, Sarah looks at daily life in communities whose geographic borders were formed during periods of colonization. Often spending time with a community over the course of months or years, she looks at the intersection of culture and memory and questions how land, and the loss of it, shapes identities. Select clients include National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, BuzzFeed and Photo District News.