Black Zionists

Ernest Levi Tsosloane Cole, South African, 1940 - 1990

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circa 1960

Gelatin silver print

Image: 6 1/2 × 9 13/16 in. (16.5 × 24.9 cm)

Sheet: 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Contemporary Art Fund, the Elizabeth and David C. Lowenstein '67 Fund, the Virginia and Preston T. Kelsey 1958 Fund, and the Fund for Contemporary Photography.

2020.19.2

Geography

Place Made: South Africa, Africa

Period

20th century

Object Name

Photograph

Research Area

Photograph

On view

Inscriptions

Signed, on reverse, center, in black ink: c[circled] ERNEST COLE.; inscribed, on reverse, lower left edge, in black ink: BLACK ZIONISTS 10A.; Stamped, on reverse, center, beneath signature, in blue ink: THE / JOHN HILLELSON / AGENCY LTD. / 145, FLEET STREET, / LONDON, E.C.4.

Label

Ernest Cole was a South African documentary photographer who set out to depict the lives of Black South Africans under apartheid. These three images of people holding on to traditional cultural practices, exclusionary public spaces, and transnational, transracial religions are representative of Cole’s insider view. A self-taught photographer, Cole made numerous sacrifices to bring his photographs to the world. His work was considered so disruptive to the apartheid system that Cole and his photobook titled House of Bondage were both banned from the country. His work reflects the intimate perspective photographers can offer when documenting a situation that directly impacts them.

From the 2024 exhibition An Instant Out of Time: Shaping a Collection, curated by Alisa Swindell, Associate Curator of Photography

Exhibition History

An Instant Out of Time: Shaping a Collection, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 20-July 21, 2024.

Provenance

Goodman Gallery UK Limited, London; sold to present collection, 2020.

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Subjects