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Print of "Dorothy/Beloved"

Object Details

James Amos Porter
Dorothy Porter Wesley
after 1929
photographic reproduction on heavy ivory paper
11 1/4 × 8 9/16 in. (28.5 × 21.8 cm)
The Scurlock Studio, operated by Addison N. Scurlock and sons Robert and George, was an African American-run photography firm that captured many important portraits and events in Black Washington, as well as scenes from local life. The studio also documented works of art by Black artists in Washington, DC, including this drawing by artist and scholar James A. Porter.
Dorothy Porter, the artist’s wife, is the subject of this photographic reproduction of a charcoal drawing. The contrast between the deeply textured, tonal shading on the sitter’s face in profile and the absence of coloration and detail in her hair—worn in a low bun covering her ear—draws attention to her serious yet elegant expression seen in profile. Dorothy, who worked as a librarian at the Harlem branch of the New York Public Library around the time this portrait was made, appeared in the artist’s work on numerous occasions, serving both as a life partner and source of creative inspiration.
This photograph was among the records of Porter’s work kept by his daughter, who donated this and six others to the museum (2003.0019.0002, 2003.0019.0003, 2003.0019.0004, 2003.0019.0005, 2003.0019.0006, 2003.0019.0007).
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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