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Jack Mitchell Archives at the Smithsonian NMAAHC
Saturday September 17, 2016 Jack Mitchell Archives Executive Director Craig B. Highberger and Associate Director,
Dr. Andrew R. La Barbera attended the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s
Collection Donor Preview and Reception in Washington D.C. (Below)
Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
introduces the curators to the donors and guests in attendance, Saturday September 17, 2016 (Below)
In June 2016 the museum acquired twenty-five Jack Mitchell photographs of important African American
artists and performers, a number of which were donations. But there is a previous acquisition that is also
an important part of the museum. In August 2012 the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. purchased the Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theater Jack Mitchell Collection.
Jack Mitchell was Alvin Ailey’s close friend and photographer of his dance company from the time of its founding
until Mitchell’s retirement in 1995. Craig B. Highberger put together the collection acquisition in 2012
with (then) Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Executive Director Sharon Gersten Luckman.
August 8, 2012 (photo below) Jack Mitchell Archives Executive Director Craig B. Highberger delivers
the Jack Mitchell Alvin Ailey Collection to the Ailey, as Alvin Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle,
Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya, and Ailey II Artistic Director Emeria Sylvia Waters watch.
Photo © Claudia Schreier.
(Photo below) Alvin Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle, Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya,
Ailey II Artistic Director Emeria Sylvia Waters, Executive Director Sharon Gersten Luckman, and Jack Mitchell
Archives Executive Director Craig B. Highberger, August 8, 2012. Photo © Caludia Schreier
The entire Jack Mitchell Alvin Ailey collection is housed at the Smithsonian NMAAHC,
where a wall of vintage Jack Mitchell Alvin Ailey Company photographs are part of the museum's
permanent exhibition. The museum opens to the public Saturday September 24
October 30, 2015
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
Acquisition of Jack Mitchell Photographs
We are proud to announce the acquisition of a body of photographs by Jack Mitchell into the
permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
The acquisition includes first time subject inductions into the museum's collection of prominent
American visual artists including Robert Rauschenberg, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Indiana, Ray Johnson,
Eric Fischl, Richard Estes, Alex Katz, Duane Hanson, Philip Pearlstein and Ian Hornak.
Robert Rauschenberg, 1977
Ellsworth Kelly, 1970
Robert Indiana, 1971
Ray Johnson, 1971
Eric Fischl, 1986
Richard Estes, 1971
Alex Katz, 1986
Duane Hanson, 1971
Philip Pearlstein, 1986
Ian Hornak, 1971
Photographs © 2015 Jack Mitchell • All Rights Reserved
Here is a 26 minute excerpt from the 2006 feature-length documentary
on Jack's life and work, "Jack Mitchell: My Life is Black and White".
The DVD is available in the Store section of the website.