Curators Melissa Barton and Nancy Kuhl discuss the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters at Yale’s Beinecke Library, including collection highlights from Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and others as well as portrait photographs by Carl Van Vechten.
Image credit: Carl Van Vechten’s Langston Hughes (1932), Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Library
--Melissa Barton is Curator of Drama and Prose for the Yale Collection of American Literature at Beinecke Library. She curated the major 2017 exhibition “Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance and The Beinecke Library” and wrote the companion volume Gather Out of Star-Dust: A Harlem Renaissance Album, available from Yale University Press. Her exhibit “Richard Wright’s Native Son on Stage and Screen” appears as part of Beinecke’s spring 2018 exhibition “The Art of Collaboration.” Melissa earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago.
Nancy Kuhl is Curator of Poetry for the Yale Collection of American Literature at Beinecke Library. She is the author of exhibition catalogs, including, Intimate Circles: American Women in the Arts and The Book Remembers Everything: The Work of Erica Van Horn; and poetry collections including Pine to Sound, Suspend and The Wife of the Left Hand. She is co-editor of Phylum Press, a small poetry publisher.