Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. Learn more.

The Screen

A work made of gelatin silver print, from the series "born hip".

Image actions

  • A work made of gelatin silver print, from the series "born hip".

Date:

1967

Artist:

Billy Abernathy
American, 1938-2017

About this artwork

Among the most influential figures in Chicago’s Black Arts Movement, Billy (Fundi) Abernathy is known for creating images that defined Black confidence, elegance, and style. This work extended to his collaborations with his wife, Sylvia (Laini) Abernathy, with whom he designed album covers for Delmark Records in the 1960s. Around that time, the poet and author Amiri Baraka (born LeRoi Jones) encountered Fundi’s photographs of Chicago and proposed a book project that would combine his poetry with Fundi’s images. The resulting collaboration, In Our Terribleness (Some Elements and Meaning in Black Style), designed by Laini and published in 1970, is both a statement about Black aesthetics and a call to action by the Black Power movement. As Baraka proclaimed, “Our terribleness is our survival as beautiful beings, anywhere.” The Screen and Mother’s Day both appeared in In Our Terribleness. In 1971 the New York Times hailed the book as “an example of the new direction that black art is taking.”

Currently Off View

Photography

Artist

Billy Abernathy

Title

The Screen

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1967

Medium

Gelatin silver print, from the series "Born Hip"

Dimensions

18.8 × 12.7 cm (image/paper); 55.9 × 45.8 cm (mount)

Credit Line

Gift of the Illinois Arts Council

Reference Number

2017.441

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share