Museum Wins Exhibit Award

Posted November 15, 2016 at 9:28 am     Category: NewsMuseum

WILMINGTON, N.C. –  Cape Fear Museum’s Reflections in Black and White exhibit won a Gold Award for Outstanding Exhibition in the “Exhibits under $10,000” category from the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) during their annual conference in Charlotte, N.C. in October.

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 will have a chance to 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.

Photos from the following collections are included in the exhibit:

  • 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.

Museum Director Sheryl Mays says of the recognition, “It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers, in a region where there are so many excellent museums.” Reflections in Black and White was researched, curated, designed and fabricated in-house and is on display through February 19, 2017.

The SEMC Exhibition Competition judges exhibits based on the quality of their design and fabrication, exhibit publications, educational programs, and the ability of the exhibit to support the museum’s mission or goals.

The Southeastern Museums Conference is a networking organization that serves to foster professionalism, mutual support and communication. A nonprofit membership association, SEMC strives to increase educational and professional development opportunities and improve the interchange of ideas, information and cooperation. SEMC focuses on the Southeastern United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


814 Market Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-4370 • Fax 910-798-4382
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