Topeka, Kan. – Brian Lanker’s much-anticipated exhibit, “I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America,” will open at Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum on Friday, Feb. 14. There will be a reception from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. that is free and open to the public.
Brian Lanker, a 1973 Pulitzer Prize winner when he was a photographer with the Topeka Capital-Journal. His book, I Dream A World was published 1989, in conjunction with an exhibition that toured internationally. The exhibition features the critically-acclaimed photographs of African American women who changed America. Lanker photographed 76 women including Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Althea Gibson, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Coretta Scott King, Oprah Winfrey and Septima Poinsette Clark, to name just a few.
Lanker’s family, who now resides in Oregon, kept the original photographs that toured internationally, and they have not been exhibited in more than 20 years. Lanker, who passed away in 2011, was twice named Newspaper Photographer of the Year. His work for LIFE and Sports Illustrated received numerous international awards.
“Exhibiting this renowned exhibit of Lanker’s photographs will continue to drive the conversations on the campus and in the community on the historical importance of African American women in a place that was an epicenter of civil rights movement and the start of Lanker’s career,” said Connie Gibbons, director, Mulvane Art Museum. “The Mulvane is thrilled to have this collection for our patrons and the community.”
In order to accommodate expected large crowds, the Mulvane Art Museum will extend its hours until the exhibit closes June 13. The museum will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Admission to the Mulvane is free and open to the public.
“We hope to be able to have this exhibit travel so we can share the importance of the women’s stories with new generations of people,” Gibbons said. “We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the generous patrons of the Mulvane, and as always, we are grateful for their support.”
In addition to the public opening on Friday, Feb. 14, Washburn University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host its annual Step Show at 7 p.m. in White Concert Hall. The public is invited to attend as many other area colleges and universities will be participating. Washburn students and members of the Greek community are free, but general admission to the Step Show is $5.
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