Thursday, March 28, 2019

Photos of Riché Richardson from Facebook Profile

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Christie @ 50 and the Power of Black Doll Love

By Riché Richardson

Views of my Superstar Christie and Golden Dream Christie fashion doll and styling head collection

The Superstar Christie series on display in my study at home

Superstar Christie on a book shelf

Superstar Christie Fashion Face

Supersize Christie, along with a wooden reproduction of one of my grandmother Emma Lou Jenkins Richardson's photos

Superstar Christie Fashion Face

Golden Dream Christie Fashion Face

Dominique Jones, New York, New York, as a little girl with her Golden Dream Christie Fashion Face on her birthday

Screenshot of Ebay auction this year pricing Superstar Christie at nearly $900

A Polaroid photo of my Barbie doll collection and Barbie Townhouse as a preteen.

My mother Joanne Richardson pictured with my Uncle Joseph and her doll on Christmas Day in Montgomery, Alabama in the late 1950s

My Aunt Pamela as a toddler on Christmas Day in Montgomery, Alabama with her doll in the early 1960s

“Your hair. It’s gorgeous.” “Reminds me of this Christie doll head I had when I was a little girl.” These were my words to another black woman sitting across from me at the drying station at the Le Nails nail salon in Ithaca, New York one Saturday a few years ago, as I noticed her healthy-looking, thick, full-bodied, barrel-curled dark brown hair, which was highlighted with patches of gold, though in her look and mannerisms, she had also reminded me a lot of one of my teachers. My description of my cousin Megan’s hair in the weeks before her debutante cotillion in 2006, when I told her that “You have that ‘Christie doll hair,’” had been similar.

She thanked me for the compliment and then said, decisively, “I had that doll, too.” She began to tell me a fascinating story about how determined she was to recreate its hair’s sunstreaked look. She described how long she had searched for just the right color. Her search for the perfect gold sounded like a veritable treasure hunt, which had, amazingly enough, even led her all the way to Germany, where she finally found the color that satisfied her at last. She then told me the name of it, though I knew even then as I admired her look that coloring my hair was not something that I’d likely try myself. It sounded as if it had to be in her own “Goldilocks Zone,” in the sense of being “not too light” and “not too dark,” to borrow the lingo linked to distant planets thought to be places that could sustain life someday because of their earth-like characteristics such as possibly having liquid water and not being too close or too far away from the sun in their solar system, but “juusst right.”

It amazed me that something as simple as our mutual memories of the same Christie doll head from our childhood had sparked such a rich dialogue and connection for us as black women in a public space where it would have been easy to remain silent strangers to each other as we sat facing each other for those few minutes. It’s also one of the moments in recent years that led me to reflect increasingly on Christie’s cultural impact, as well as her personal impact on me. More and more, I was inspired to reclaim her.

The truth is that like the two of us, there are lots of black women of our generation who were children during the late 1970s as Christie culminated her first decade and took on “superstar” dimensions in Mattel’s landmark series launched in 1977, which featured her with signature sunstreaked hair during that era. The glamorous Superstar Christie series, which made its debut alongside Superstar Barbie, is what most girls around my age best remember. And of course, there are those who were at the vanguard among the first wave of black girls who actually witnessed the introduction of Christie (O’Neil) as a friend of Barbie in 1968. This was a year marked by the tragic deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy, when the Black Power movement was increasingly impacting the nation and slogans such as “Black is Beautiful” that reflected black pride were vocal. It is also noteworthy that Christie integrated the world of Barbie toward the end of the latter iconic doll’s first decade and during the same year that Diahann Carroll made her debut in Julia, the first television sitcom featuring a black woman.

M. G. Lord’s Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll quotes the journalist and doll collector Susan Howard as saying, “When you’re a kid who basically has no one to play with other than yourself and a few friends, this doll becomes your friend.” “You don’t know how much it meant to me that Barbie had a friend like Christie. Because that meant, well, Barbie likes black people. And it may sound silly, but it was important for me to know that Barbie liked someone like me.” That 2018 marks Christie’s 50th birthday is a monumental milestone. I want to take a moment to pause and reflect on what she means to me, along with others who truly understand how special she is, especially black women everywhere who love (and in some cases, still collect!) black dolls and who played with her as children.

I was introduced to Christie by receiving Superstar Christie Fashion Face, with her signature hard yellow plastic tray base and blue combing accessories, when I was seven on Christmas day in 1978. Among my toys, the dolls that I received were this one alongside four baby dolls, including Dancerella, Baby Come Back and Baby-That-Away. But this Christie styling head was my first fashion doll, which had accessories like makeup, sunglasses, barrettes and hair rollers. I had also received Fashion Plates, a drawing and design kit. She stayed in the box for the first couple of years because she was still a little over my head.

However, I find it intriguing that the year of her arrival in my life was really the earliest time that I began to think seriously about what I wanted to be when I grew up, who I wanted to marry and to picture what I might grow up to look like someday as a woman. The image of myself as a woman solidly crystallized in my mind at age seven, likely an amalgam of beauty posters and ads featuring black women that I’d seen in the beauty shop. It’s interesting that a sense of being “fierce” in a way that only the signature stare from Vanessa Williams in Ugly Betty can capture, was a top quality, suggesting my goal to become a confident, no-nonsense woman someday. It was also the first year that I began to dream about what I wanted for my life and family (of origin and by marriage) in the future. Superstar Christie, like my later doll in the Golden Dream Christie series, lived in Malibu, California. I suppose, in some unconscious way, they helped pave the way to California for me, which is where I got my first teaching job as a university professor and lived for a decade, from ages 27-36.

As Erica Rand notes in Barbie’s Queer Accessories (1995), girls rarely play with Barbie in the way that Mattel models and prescribes. As a girl, I’d rename the sisters in my doll family-the Golds who were from Orlando, Florida- in every linguistic variation of Christie I could think of. Their names were “Christen”(Golden Dream Christie), “Christiane”(Peaches and Cream Barbie), “Crystal”(Crystal Barbie), and “Christine”(Day to Night Barbie) My main Barbie playmate approached her naming strategy similarly. One of hers was named “Christina”(Pink and Pretty Christie). Similarly, I renamed my first black Ken “Kent”(Sunsational Malibu Ken).

The doll experiments by Dr. Kenneth B. Clark and his wife Dr. Mamie Clark famously impacted the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 illustrating the detrimental impact of segregated schools on black children who identified with and preferred white dolls and thought only they were pretty. Still, there have always been black girls who embraced, played with and loved black dolls. My mother Joanne Richardson bought mostly black dolls for me, just as my grandmother Emma Lou Jenkins Richardson had for her and my aunt Pamela during the 1950s and ‘60s (pictured above). (The earliest Barbies I saw in life were Pam’s). Indeed, my grandmother's Aunt Vinnie had bought black dolls for her and her sister Janie Mae as gifts for Christmas during the 1920s. It is a testament to how valued Christie continues to be that she is now so coveted by collectors and so rare, especially the Superstar Christie series. For example, it is astonishing that the pricing for Superstar Christie was listed in some auctions in recent months at selling prices ranging from $449-$875.

My grandmother never allowed me to take any toys to school because “You go to school to learn, not to play.” Yet, as an adult, I have found that some toys in my office space connect me to my past in ways that inspire and nurture me. In my office on campus at Cornell University, I display storybook dolls such as Cassie, Amazing Grace and a black Raggedy Ann, along with dolls that thematically link to courses I’ve taught in recent times, such as the Hasbro (2001) and Mattel (2005) collections of Destiny’s Child dolls, which I researched for my Beyoncé Nation course, and Mattel’s tribute to Misty Copeland, whose autobiography my students and I read last fall in my course on Black Women’s Autobiography in the 21st Century, the 2017 Rabinor Seminar in American Studies. However, my study at home, which includes another Cassie doll and a black Raggedy Ann and Andy, showcases the various dolls in the Superstar Christie collection from the late '70s. I spent last year rebuilding it by doing painstaking searches for mint versions of the main dolls from my childhood, which are incredibly rare now, and finding them was a great blessing. I decorate my closet with the Golden Dream Christie doll series, along with one of my prized possessions that I have had since my first year of college, the poster of Iman, Beverly Johnson and Louise Vyent from Revlon’s Unforgettable campaign.

In my home space, my Christie dolls, and especially the tall Supersize Christie atop one of my art book shelves, have a sculptural quality that speaks profoundly to the artist in me, along with the woman as one who stands at 6’2” tall myself and who has so frequently been asked the “Are you a model?” and “Do you play basketball?” questions so familiar to many tall girls. While Superstar Christie Fashion Face, with her rooted eyelashes, seemed larger than life to me in childhood and looks much smaller through my adult eyes, she seems as mannequin-like as the elegant black wig mannequins at my beauty shop. The Superstar Christie dolls are another interesting thematic thread in my artist’s apartment and studio that I have cultivated over the years as a mixed-media appliqué quilt artist who also collects Southern folk art with an emphasis on Alabama. In building this theme, I have found my greatest inspiration in the Paris apartment designs of Claudia Strasser for supermodel Kirsty Hume in the Paris Apartment: Romantic Décor on a Flea Market Budget, which incorporate Barbie dolls, and in the apartment of Bjørn Amelan, the partner of famed black designer Patrick Kelly shown in Paris Interiors. Kelly, who was originally from Mississippi, had highlighted and decorated their apartment with various vintage black dolls.

My Superstar Christie Fashion Face fills my heart with memories of myself as a little girl at age seven sitting under the Christmas tree in 1978 surrounded by my family, taking me back to that special time at home again that I will also always carry in my heart. On her birthday this past January, Dominique Jones, Executive Director at The Boys and Girls Club in Harlem, posted a photo of herself as a little girl with her Golden Dream Christie Fashion Face on her Facebook page, which features her doll and her birthday cake (see above). One of her black women friends posted a picture in the comment box featuring herself as a little girl standing by her vintage Christie styling head. These adorable and sweet photos suggest what a cherished doll Christie was by some black girls, and how intricately she has been linked to some of their most special childhood memories and celebrations.

While Christie had been prominently featured as a companion doll to the new Barbie designs throughout the 1970s and into the early ‘80s, “Black Barbie” officially debuted in 1980. In 1984, Mattel launched its “We Girls Can Do Anything” campaign, words that rang out as an empowerment anthem in commercials as the company introduced dolls depicting Barbie as a businesswoman and in various other careers. As important as this message was, in some ways, Christie also helped instill such lessons in many of us, and inspired us to reach within ourselves, to aim to become our best, and to tap our "superstar" within. Christie was the toy with which I primarily identified and, like Barbie, linked to messages of empowerment. In my life, my grandmother has played a central role in teaching me to be confident, to love myself and to always aim to achieve my greatest possibilities in life. She taught me not to worry myself over what other people think about me, and to always walk by faith and focus on my goals. When we talked every morning during my years in California, her daily sendoff for me, besides "I love you," was always, "Hold up your head and strut."

In spite of her impact, Christie still had some clear limitations. Though she was a groundbreaking creation and Christie had dark brown skin, her features were typically cast from the “Steffie mold” used to make Barbie and many of her friends, mirroring Eurocentric aesthetics. In Skin Trade (1996), Ann DuCille describes the raced and gendered essentialisms related to the body and facial features that efforts to create ethnic Barbies inevitably re inscribe. It would have been great if Mattel had re-released Superstar Christie alongside Superstar Barbie on Barbie’s 50th birthday in 2009. Because Christie still matters to and inspires so many of us, and especially who were children during her superstar era, it would have been nice to see this series modernized for the millennium and introduced to new generations of girls, including black girls. In all of this, I also wonder why we still have not seen the logical outgrowth of this doll dynasty given her national and global impact: Superstar Beyoncé.

Through the years, Mattel has reinforced and expanded its messages of empowerment and in recent times, released dolls honoring a multiplicity of extraordinary women, including Gabby Douglas, Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, and Katherine Johnson, among others. Such efforts make an important contribution and help to make a difference. A half century later, it is clear that Christie’s groundbreaking legacy at Mattel helped pave the way toward a broader and increasingly more diverse and dynamic repertoire of black and other ethnic dolls.

For more dialogue on black dolls, see my post on this blog from November 7, 2016,"®Made in Montgomery: Growing Up with Dolls and Honoring the Craft Work of Mrs. Essie Thomas":

While I am talking about Superstar Christie , I also wanted to mention the latest fashion doll styling head, which was released by Mattel this year: the black "Barbie Deluxe Styling Head - Color & Style Deluxe Curly Hair." I think that it is a beautifully designed and gorgeous doll that is also special for how it celebrates natural black hair. It is a Barbie but has the look of Superstar Christie and beautifully updates and revamps her for our time in the 21st century, replete with hands for manicure. This latest black Barbie styling head doll by Mattel, with all of her wonderful accessories, would be a great toy to purchase for girls to play with right now and so I highly recommend her:

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Portraits Quilt Exhibition Gallery

Portraits II: From Montgomery to Paris: The Appliqué Art Quilts of
By Riché Deianne Richardson (2015)

Exhibition Dedicated to Mr. Joe Richardson and Mrs. Emma Lou Jenkins Richardson

By Riché Richardson

Curator: Daniel Neil with Georgette Norman

Early Work: A Retrospective and Prelude to “Portraits”

Includes Delta Quilt Series, Daughters of Africa Series, Family Quilt, Autobiography Quilt, and Africa Quilt Series (10 works)

Soft-sculpture doll honoring purple uniform of Alabama Association of Federated Youth Clubs completed at age 16. Second place prize winner at annual state convention. Eyes painted on by Dorothy Thomas, a neighbor who made and sold soft-sculpture dolls (1987).

Soft-sculpture doll made at age 18 to decorate dormitory room in Packard Hall at Spelman College freshman year the summer before leaving for college(1989)

“Delta Love.” First art quilt produced in 1992 as a new member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in Spelman College’s Eta Kappa Chapter; this organization also first exhibited Riché Richardson’s art when featuring this piece in an exhibition on Spelman’s campus in 1993. This Delta art quilt also includes two small replicas in the collections of the artist’s Delta “Speshes,” Soror Patsy K. Rucker Mccray and Soror Riché Daniel Barnes

“My Family Quilt”(1993)

“Destiny’s Child: Borrowed Robes: The Autobiography of Riché Richardson”(1994)

“Daughters of Africa.” From the Collection of Claire Milligan(1993). Large, multi-panel art quilt on which this series is based was completed in the summer of 1993.

“Daughters of Africa.” Appliqué work by Riché Richardson and quilting by Georgette Norman.
From the Collection of Georgette Norman (1993).

Africa Quilt (1995)

Africa Quilt (1995)

“JoAnn Richardson: School Days.” First painted art quilt that launched the “Portraits” art quilt project (1999)

*A quilted “Daughters of Africa” potholder and a Christmas stocking featuring a Christmas tree and snowman were also produced during the mid-1990s phase, though no art quilts were produced between 1996 and 1998

(Images Unavailable)

From Portraits II Family Series, Including Baby and Children, Education, Debutante and Self-Portrait Series, Along with
Various Installation-Style Works with Light and Sound Technology Components (29 Works)

“Debutante Daddy: Mr. Joe Richardson Presenting Daughter Pamela Richardson As a Debutante in National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Beta Beta Chapter Cotillion, Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery, Alabama, April 10, 1976” (Joe Richardson, b. July 11, 1915 and Commemorating 100 Years in 2015) (Debutante Series). Installation-style panel 1 of 3. Composition 2011-2014.

“Debutante Pamela Richardson Presented by Father, Mr. Joe Richardson, in National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Beta Beta Chapter Cotillion, Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery, Alabama, April 10, 1976” (Debutante Series). Installation-style panel 2 of 3. Composition 2011-2014.

“Debutante Mama: Mrs. Emma Lou Jenkins Richardson, Mother of Pamela Richardson in National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Debutante Cotillion, Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery, Alabama, April 10, 1976” (Debutante Series). Installation-style panel 3 of 3. Composition 2011-2014.

The Montgomery Advertiser newspaper showcased debutantes from the April 10, 1976 cotillion at Montgomery, Alabama's Garrett Coliseum highlighted here in a two-part feature published on April 15 and April 22, 1976. An 11X14 reproduction of the part of the news feature published on April 22 that features Pamela Richardson in one of its two photographic sections is positioned on the wall left of panel 1.

Top hat, white-tipped cane, white pedestal column and white floral bouquet positioned at left adjacent to panel 1. A segment from the original newspaper article related to the cotillion positioned right of panel 3. Special thanks to Pamela R. Garrett for developing the flower bouquet designs and to Kim Salter at Evening Out Formal Wear in Montgomery, Alabama for providing the cane featured in the installation.

The main song in the digital soundtrack component of this debutante quilt installation is Barbara Streisand’s “The Way We Were”(1976), the theme song of the cotillion. Among other songs in rotation are Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely,” The Carpenters’ “Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun,” Fred Astaire’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Shining Star” and The Chordettes’ “Mr. Sandman.”

The installation also includes one-light spotlight beam technology shining on center panel. Special thanks to Daniel Neil for collaborating on sound and light technology features of this art quilt installation.

“Jo Ann and ‘Junior Man’ II, or, ‘Butler’ and ‘Jenny’: Cowboys at Christmas.” Installation-style quilt. Special Thanks to T-Shirt Express for Screen Printing Background Photographs. Dedicated to Nancy Hodge Richardson, Murray Richardson, and Sarah and Clinton Carson. Special thanks to Joanne Richardson for preparing the fringe on the outfits in this art quilt installation. Composition 2009-2015.

“Pam as Booker T. Washington May Day Queen.” Original newspaper article related to the festivities is positioned on the wall. Composition 2009-2014.

“Riché Deianne Richardson as Jr. Gayfer Girl in 1983 at Age 11 and Dressed for the Group Photo, the First Event after Graduation from Poise-Charm Classes at Gayfers Department Store (formerly Montgomery Fair) in Montgomery Mall"(Family Series, Education Series, and Self-Portrait Series). Special Thanks to T-Shirt Express for the T-Shirt Design and Production.
Composition 2012-13.

“’Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes!’: Keri Diamond Smith and Megan Chereé Smith, School Days at St. John-Resurrection"(Family Series, Education Series) Installation-style quilt. Also features sound of children’s song “Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes.” Special thanks to Daniel Neil for collaborating on sound technology features of this art quilt installation. Composition 2005-12.

“Riché Deianne Richardson: Profile in the State of Alabama” (Self-Portrait). Composition 2011-2014.

Political Series

“Obama Time: Always (Congratulations, Mr. President!)” (Political Series). Composition 2008-09.

“The Magnificent Michelle Obama, Our First Lady: ‘Strength and Honor are Her Clothing’(Proverbs 31: 25)”(Political Series). Composition 2009.

“Mary McLeod Bethune: One of America’s Greatest Sweethearts and the World’s Best Leaders.” Composition 2012-2014.

"Clarence Thomas’s High Tech Lynching?: Inferior Court Justice to Be"(Political Series). Composition 2002-12.

"Condoleezza Rice: From Birmingham to the White House" (Alabama Women Series, Political Series). Composition 2011- 2012.

“The Journey of Condoleezza Rice.” Composition 2012.

“’W’: President George W. Bush, #43.” Composition 2013-14.

Civil Rights Movement: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Series

“Rosa Parks, Whose ‘No’ in 1955 Launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Was Heard Around the World”(Commemorating 100 Years, 1913-2013) (Civil Rights Movement Series, Black History Series, and Alabama Women Series). Dedicated to Georgette Norman. Composition 2006-12.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: From the Montgomery Bus Boycott to a Dream for America” (Black History Series). Composition 2012-2014.

“E.D. Nixon: Father of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Civil Rights Movement” (Black History Series) In Memory of E.D. Nixon, Jr., a.k.a. “Nick LaTour.” Dedicated to Alma Burton Johnson. Composition 2012-13.

Riché Richardson's art quilt honoring Rosa Parks on public display in the building's lobby as part of the permanent collection at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama

Paris Series

“James Baldwin: From Harlem to Paris” (African American Literature Series). Composition 2012-2014.

“’Richard Wright: From Mississippi to Paris” (African American Literature Series). Composition 2012-2014.

“Audrey Tautou as Amélie.” Composition 2011.

Hollywood Series

“Charleston's Finest: Clark Gable as Rhett Butler"(Gone with the Wind Series). Special thanks to Daniel Neil for collaborating on sound technology features of this art quilt installation. (Panel 3 of 3). Composition 2006-12.

“Dorothy Dandridge Playing Carmen Jones” Installation-style quilt. Special thanks to Daniel Neil for collaborating on sound technology features of this art quilt installation. Composition 2012-2014.

“I Wanted to Really Build Something: To Sidney Poitier with Love.” Composition 2012-2014.

“The Marvelous Marilyn Monroe.” Installation-style quilt. Special thanks to Daniel Neil for collaborating on sound technology features of this art quilt installation. Composition 2011 -2014.

Black History Series

“Daughter of Africa, Mother of African American Literature, Another American Revolution” (Black History Series, African American Literature Series, and New Daughters of Africa Series). Dedicated to Honorée Jeffers. Composition 2010-12.

“The Great Abolitionist Frederick Douglass: ‘I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday’; Birthday Unknown but Celebrated February 14” (Black History Series) Dedicated to Class of 2009, Suger High School, Saint-Denis in Paris, France. Installation-style quilt. Includes display of a broken cowhide whip. Composition 2010-11.

“Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison”(African American Literature Series). Composition 2010.

“The Vision of W.E.B. Du Bois.” Composition 2012-2014.

Portraits from Montgomery to Paris(2008) (19 Works)

From Family Series, Including Wedding, Graduation/Education, and Debutante Series, Three Installations, and Artist Self Portraits

"Sunday Afternoon on Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida during WWII: Emma Lou
Jenkins Richardson.” Composition 1999-00.

“Sunday Afternoon on Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida during WWII: Joe Richardson.” Composition 2000-01.

"JoAnn and 'Junior Man': Easter Sunday, Montgomery, Alabama, 1954"(Installation). Composition 2001-04.

"Pam's Graduation from Kindergarten at Mrs. Drake's"(Installation). Composition 2005-08.

"JoAnn Richardson: Graduation Picture at Booker Washington High School." Composition 2005-06.

"Joseph Richardson: Graduation Picture at Booker Washington High School.” Composition 2006-07

"Pamela Richardson: Graduation Picture at Jefferson Davis High School." Composition 2005-08.

"The Honeymooners: Celebrating 47 Years: Emma Richardson." Composition 2005-06.

"The Honeymooners: Celebrating 47 Years: Joe Richardson." Composition 2005-08.

“Riché Deianne Richardson: Graduation Picture at St. Jude Educational Institute of 'The City of St. Jude.”' (The Last Camping Place for Selma-to-Montgomery Marchers in 1965) (Self-Portrait). Special Thanks to Dr. Kelly Gianetti for Sterilized Orthodontic Appliances. Composition 2005-06.

“Riché Deianne Richardson, Age 17: Debutante Cotillion Program Portrait, 1989." (Self-Portrait). Composition 2006-08.

"Keri Diamond Smith, Age 17: Debutante Cotillion Program Portrait, 2004." Composition 2006-08.

"Megan Chereé Smith, Age 17: Debutante Cotillion Program Portrait, 2006." Composition 2006-08.

From Paris Series

"Playing Venus Hot to Trot?: Josephine Baker"(Commemorating 100 years, 1906-2006). Composition 2001-05.

"Remembering a Dutiful Daughter: Simone de Beauvoir" (Commemorating 100 years, 1908-2008). Composition 2004-07.

From Political Series

"The Ties that Bind: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy." Composition 2002-04.

"A Tie, Too?": Malcolm X." Composition 2002-04.

From Hollywood Series

"Playing 'Mammy': Not Hattie McDaniel!" Composition 2006-08.

"Sweet Scarlett?: Vivien Leigh Playing Southern Belle." Composition 2006-08.

Pamela R. Garrett posing with the quilt featuring her as May Day Queen at Booker T. Washington Elementary

Pamela R. Garrett posing with the Debutante Triple Quilt installation featuring her and her parents

Pamela R. Garrett adjusting the panel of her father Joe Richardson on the Debutante Triple Quilt Installation

Members of the Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (MAC) at the public reception for "Portraits" on January 15, 2015

The artist Riché Richardson talking to Dr. Henry Johnson at public reception for portraits (photo by Ora Patterson)

Some family members in the gallery room after the "Portraits" public reception

"Portraits" exhibition curator Georgette Norman, Founding Director of Rosa Parks Museum

Images by Mickey Welsh from the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper of the gala Hyundai Reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery march held on March 6, 2015 at Rosa Parks Museum, which was hosted in the gallery room with "Portraits" and included local and national leaders such as Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford, noted civil rights attorney Fred Gray, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Bernice King, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, among many other distinguished leaders.