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Horse-drawn Cultivator. Mississippi, 1974, from the series Southern Roads/City Pavements

1974, printed 1982 Roland L. Freeman Born: Baltimore, Maryland 1936 gelatin silver print sheet: 11 1/8 x 14 in. (28.1 x 35.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of George H. Dalsheimer © 1974, Roland L. Freeman 1991.80.5 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Sometimes humorous, always warm, each photograph by Freeman represents more than the instant it captures. For example, emerging from the woods in search of basket maker Lee Willie Nabors, Freeman came upon a horse-drawn cultivator in a fallow field that Nabors farmed. Silhouetted against the sky, the implement becomes and emblem for the spirit of creativity that even the hard life of the rural farmer cannot stifle. Freeman’s photographs tell of African American heritage and folklore and of people for whom the past continues to resonate. They are also the story of Freeman’s life, the people he cares about, and the commitments he believes in.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012


Architecture - machine - farm machine

Landscape - farm

Landscape - Mississippi

photography - photoprint


gelatin silver