Partnerships, Portraits, and the Power of Photojournalism: Black History According to Allen E. and Frances T. Cole This exhibit considers key themes in the history of Black Cleveland […]
Before cellphone cameras and selfies, there was African American photographer Allen E. Cole. Cole was an entrepreneur and a civic minded businessman whose photographs appeared regularly in the Call & […]
A remarkable visual record of Cleveland’s African American community spanning five decades– celebrating 10 years since publication, and offered at a special anniversary price!
During the Great Depression, photographer Allen Eugene Cole posted a sign in front of his studio in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood: somebody, somewhere, wants your photograph. An entrepreneurial businessman with a keen ability to market his images of Cleveland’s black experience, Cole was deeply immersed in civic life. A founder and treasurer of the Progressive Business League, Cole was an officer of the Dunbar Life Insurance Co., a member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, and active in the Elks and Masons. For years he was the only black member of the Cleveland Society of Professional Photographers. Well into the 1960s his photographs appeared regularly in the Call & Post, Cleveland’s African American weekly newspaper.
A migrant to Cleveland in 1917, Allen Cole developed an interest in photography while employed as a waiter at the Cleveland Athletic Club. By 1922 he had opened his first studio at home, enlarging it over the years. It was in this studio that he photographed Perry B. Jackson, Ohio’s first African American judge.
The images of Jackson and the hundreds of other African Americans included in this volume were chosen from the thousands of photographs in the Allen Cole Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society. They illustrate the diverse experiences among Cleveland’s vibrant African American community. Social organizations, women’s and men’s clubs, civic and church groups, schoolchildren and teachers, businessmen, and politicians are all included in this charming and unique collection. In the accompanying text authors Samuel Black and Regennia Williams place Cole and his comprehensive visual catalog in the context of African American history and the Great Migration.
Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole mines Cole’s exceptional midtwentieth-century photographic chronicle of African American life and will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in American history, as well as specialists in African studies, history, sociology, urban affairs, and the photographic arts.
Hardback; Kent State University Press
This celebration, the first in a series that continues through April 2023, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Allen E. Cole Photography Studio in Cleveland’s Fairfax community. […]
Allen E. Cole Collection, a Component of the African American Photographic Database Since acquiring the Allen E. Cole photograph collection in 1979, the African American History Archives of the Western […]
By Patty Edmonson Museum Advisory Council Curator of Costume & Textiles for the Western Reserve Historical Society Today, girls are empowered to play freely and join in both team and […]
Join us for happy hour at the Cleveland History Center to celebrate Black History Month with our History on Tap event! Focusing on the life and works of Allen E. […]
Black Moses: The Art of Rev. Albert Wagner Reverend Albert Wagner is a globally recognized artist and part of a movement called “visionary” or “outsider” art. Outsider art is […]
Honoring and embodying the cultural heritages of a region through the beauty of shared outdoor spaces
From their beginnings as private farmland to their current form as monuments to cultural and ethnic diversity, the unique collection of landscaped, themed gardens that compose Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens holds a rich history. John J. Grabowski guides readers through this story, using both archival images and Lauren R. Pacini’s stunning contemporary photography.
First erected as the Shakespeare Garden in 1916, the land bordering Doan Brook slowly began to incorporate tributes to immigrants, reflecting Cleveland’s role as a key location for eastern European immigrants. Throughout both world wars, the Cold War, and more recent events, the gardens’ composition has changed to reflect more diversity, now encompassing 33 individual gardens that honor cultures and countries with connections to Cleveland. Each garden features plants native to the corresponding culture, from German to Vietnamese and from Ethiopian to Finnish. This vast inclusivity makes Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens a forerunner in the push for greater representation of cultures and people of color in memorials and public spaces.
The gardens also highlight a growing emphasis on collaboration and coexistence among cultures, as symbolized in the Peace Garden of the Nations and its crypt of intermingled soil from shrines around the world. This book will be of interest both locally and nationally, given its visual appeal and its discussions of culture, diversity, and inclusion.
By Regennia N. Williams, PhD Distinguished Scholar of African American History and Culture In Post-World War I Era Cleveland, a popular destination for African American migrants from the South, gospel […]
At Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there are plenty of opportunities to shine, from parties to the induction ceremonies. The Rock Hall’s Director of Community Relations, Ruthie Brown, […]
Below you will find a series of books related to Black History in Northeast Ohio that are available now in the WRHS Museum Store and online: Ballots and Bullets: […]
Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) celebrates the history, spirit, and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. one of America’s greatest heroes of social justice and equality. This […]
Plan Your Visit Thursdays 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays | 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Library Hours are Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10:00 AM to […]
Since 1980, the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (ECH) has been developing local history content to increase awareness and understanding of our city’s history. In two print editions (1987 and 1996) […]
The notable accomplishments of Lawrence O. Payne include his graduation from John Marshall Law School and his election to Cleveland City Council. Allen E. Cole’s 1935 photograph of the “Payne for […]
Thank You to Our Supporters MAKING A DIFFERENCE YEAR AFTER YEAR INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) deeply appreciates our donors’ commitment to our mission: to inspire people to […]
Online Genealogy Resources Search the Index The Research Library is pleased to present a search of its genealogical resources that have been indexed to date. Please note that while this […]
Community Programs for Adults Back to all Programs for Adults Magic of Memories Programs Experience incredible moments from the past 100 years in Cleveland with these intriguing programs that highlight […]
Explore our Exhibits Black Moses: The Art of Rev. Albert Wagner Dressed for the Job: Clevelanders in Uniform Partnerships, Portraits, and the Power of Photojournalism: Black History According to […]