Museum historian to present talk on ‘Reflections in Black and White’ exhibit on Sunday is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Having dinner, about 1955 (l-r) Alex Franks, Mrs. Franks, Lewis Hines, Sr, Mrs. Hines Gift of Henrietta Adams
‘Having dinner,’ circa 1955. Pictured, from left, are: Alex Franks, Mrs. Franks, Lewis Hines Sr., Mrs. Hines. Museum photo a gift of Henrietta Adams.

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science will host a free gallery talk and exhibition viewing at 2 p.m. Sunday on the museum’s newest exhibit, “Reflections in Black and White.”

Museum historian Jan Davidson will tell behind-the-scenes stories of what she found while researching and curating the exhibit, according to a news release from the museum.

“Reflections in Black and White” features a selection of informal black and white photographs taken by black and white Wilmingtonians after World War II before the Civil Rights movement helped end legalized segregation. Visitors can compare black and white experiences and reflect on what people’s lives were like in the region during the latter part of the Jim Crow era.

“The different historical images speak to each other in some fascinating ways,” Davidson said. “Most of us can see our own lives reflected in the images. We all eat, hang out with friends, and many of us have taken silly pictures of ourselves or our loved ones. These images show our common humanity, and allow us to relate to people in the past as we might relate to a friend.”

The exhibition highlights selections from four large photographic collections:

  • African American photographer Herbert Howard was a postal worker, a member of the NAACP, and a semi-professional photographer. Cape Fear Museum has a collection of more than 1,000 images he took documenting Wilmington’s black community.
  • Artist Claude Howell left an extensive collection of scrapbooks to the Museum. The albums include hundreds of pages with photographs of Howell’s friends, local scenery, and people.
  • Student nurse Elizabeth Ashworth attended the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing right after World War II. Her photographs provide a glimpse of a group of young white women’s lives in the late 1940s.
  • In 2012, the Museum acquired a collection of photos that were taken in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and left at the Camera Shop, a downtown business that was a fixture from the late 1910s through the early 1980s

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, 814 Market St., is open Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. ; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. General admission is $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, students and military with valid ID; $5 for children 6-17; and free for children 5 and under and for museum members. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. For more information, visit