UNC Wilmington Art Exhibit a Powerful Narrative of African American History in North Carolina

Items related to African-American history in North Carolina are on display during the Philip J. Merrill exhibition in UNC Wilmington's Boseman Gallery Jan. 12-Feb. 16, 2012.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The University of North Carolina Wilmington's Ann Flack Boseman Gallery presents "Philip J. Merrill: An Artifactual Journey Across Black North Carolina", Jan. 12-Feb. 16. The exhibit will officially open with a free reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26 in the gallery, located on the second floor of Fisher University Union. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Merrill is a nationally recognized expert in African American history and material culture. His specialties include African American historical research, oral history, and collecting and interpreting cultural artifacts. He was an appraiser with the PBS television show Antiques Roadshow from 1996-2001, where he created the category for Black Memorabilia. He has lectured extensively on African American history and collectibles.

The owner of an extensive and eclectic collection of Black memorabilia comprised of more than 30,000 items, Merrill has exhibited his collection widely at museums, schools, national conferences, and a variety of other settings. In his presentations, he uses items from his collection to emphasize the accomplishments and positive contributions that African Americans have made to American society over the course of its history.

The Boseman Gallery exhibit is sponsored by the Upperman African American Cultural Center with the generous support of Piedmont Natural Gas. Its focus is on North Carolina pieces from Merrill's collection.

"'An Artifactual Journey' goes beyond merely a display or disparate assemblage of historical artifacts," said Todd McFadden, Upperman Center director. "With this exhibit, Merrill has created a "quilt" that covers the state of North Carolina-carefully stitched together patches of history that transform ordinary glimpses of the past into an extraordinary and powerful narrative of sometimes forgotten African American history."

The Boseman Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The exhibit is co-sponsored by the UNCW Upperman African American Cultural Center, New Hanover County NAACP, Pender County NAACP, The Wilmington Journal and Piedmont Natural Gas.

Media contact:
Dana Fischetti, media relations manager, 910.508.3127 or fischettid@uncw.edu