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Philbrook Opens Photography Exhibition Doors of No Return: The Remains of Africa's Slave Castles
Douglas Henderson, Old Woman, Salaga Slave Market , June 18, 2010. Archival chromogenic print, 19.5x27.75 inches.
TULSA, OK.- Philbrook Museum of Art, along with community partner, The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, is proud to present the exhibition Doors of No Return: The Remains of Africa’s Slave Castles. The exhibition will be on view June 5 through August 7.

In 2010, photographers Douglas Henderson and Greg Merrell documented these historic dungeons scattered along the West coast of Africa. The goal of photographing these sites was not an extensive articulation of the slave trade. Rather, the intent was to introduce the physical and symbolic poignancy of their presence to audiences that remain unaware of their existence and history. Indeed, some 12.5 million Africans passed through these or related portals never to return during the 350-year atrocity of the slave trade, one of the largest forced migration of people in history.

“While the slave castle portals serve as poignant metaphors to this dark passage in our history, we hope they will also serve as entryways to understanding and dialogue within our community” says Philbrook director Rand Suffolk.

Catherine Whitney, Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at Philbrook oversaw this exhibition. Whitney, with the Museum since July 2010, directs the curatorial department’s ambitious and expanding special exhibition programs, as well as researching, interpreting, installing and further developing Philbrook’s collection of American Art.



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