Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum — Sarah Stacke

Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum
by Sarah Stacke, with texts by Maurice Wallace and Martha Sumler

We are proud and excited to present an intimate look at the life and work of early 20th century American photographer Hugh Mangum. The book was made in close collaboration with Mangum’s granddaughter, Martha Sumler, and features never-before-seen photographs and ephemera from their family archive.

Image courtesy of Hugh Mangum Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Born in 1877, the year the Civil War’s Reconstruction period ended, Mangum died in 1922, only three years after the First World War and two years after women gained the right to vote. During his lifetime the final battles of the Indian Wars were waged and the first law limiting the number of immigrants allowed in the U.S. was passed. The personalities in Mangum’s images collectively, and often majestically, symbolize the triumphs and struggles of this pivotal era. An itinerant photographer primarily working in his home state of North Carolina and the Virginias, Mangum cultivated clientele from across racial and economic divides. Though the American South of his era was marked by disenfranchisement, segregation, and inequality, Mangum portrayed all his sitters with candor and heart. Above all, he showed them as individuals. A century after their making, Mangum’s photographs allow us a penetrating gaze into faces of the past, and in a larger sense, they offer an unusually insightful glimpse of the South at the turn of the twentieth century. His “portraiture hints at a counter-history…few white Southerners besides Mangum dared to reflect,” writes Prof. Maurice Wallace of the University of Virginia (UVA), in the book.

Photographer Hugh and his wife Annie Mangum. Image courtesy of Martha Sumler.

Notably, the camera Mangum used was designed to create multiple and distinct exposures on a single glass plate negative. The sequence of the images on a single negative represents the order Mangum’s diverse clientele rotated through the studio, thus representing a day’s work for this gregarious photographer.

In the years Stacke has spent with the Mangum Collection––imagining the distinct personalities and lives, their relationships to each other and to Mangum––the collection has evolved to represent a family album to her. Not only as its own entity, unfurled by the welcoming and harmonious spirit of Hugh Mangum, but also in the way she’s formed relationships with the images and individuals in them.

Image courtesy of Hugh Mangum Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Sarah Stacke is a photographer and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. In 2012 she received a master’s degree from Duke University tailored to analyze photographic representations of African and African-American communities. For her capstone project Sarah extensively researched Hugh Mangum’s archive and curated the first-ever solo exhibition of his work, which was shown at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) in 2012. Shortly thereafter she wrote pieces for The New York Times and Aperture about Mangum and curated a major installation of his work at the Asheville Art Museum. Sarah has been an instructor at CDS since 2013 and is an adjunct professor at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and the International Center of Photography, where she teaches a course about the role archives play in society.

In her photography work, Sarah looks at daily life in communities whose geographic borders were formed during periods of colonization. Often spending time with a community over the course of months or years, she looks at the intersection of culture and memory and questions how land, and the loss of it, shapes identities. Select clients include National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, BuzzFeed and Photo District News.

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Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum is also available as a Special Edition (185 USD/Euro) that includes a choice from two images from Mangum’s private family archive. Both have been recently reprinted in an edition of 50 each at our traditional black-and-white darkroom in Brooklyn, New York, one from the original glass plate negative. 8 x 10 archival silver-gelatin, fiber-based print; choice of one of the two below:

Left: Print Choice #1, MUSICIANS; printed from ORIGINAL glass plate negative. Right: Print Choice #2, CHAIN GANG; printed from modern negative generated from high-resolution scan.

The books will be ready to ship on Jan. 15, 2019, so please expect delivery shortly thereafter.

Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum — Book Specifications:
by Sarah Stacke, with texts by Maurice Wallace and Martha Sumler, Hugh Mangum’s granddaughter
160 pages
10″ x 10″
ISBN 978-1-941703-08-3

Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum


Photos Day or Night: The Archive of Hugh Mangum is sold at 55 USD/EUR or ALSO available with an 8×10 archival silver-gelatin, fiber-based print made in our Brooklyn darkroom (Choice of one of the two), for 185 USD/EUR. All sales plus shipping.