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Alex A. Acolatse
Group portrait [Togo]
1900-1920 (taken) 2015 (print)
Inkjet print, from glass negative
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Anonymous gift, in honor of Agamah Ayao, to the Visual Resource Archive, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Accession Number: N.A.2015.7
Included in the "In and Out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (31 August 2015–3 January 2016).
Curatorial description (Accessed 7 October 2015)
This photograph, printed for the exhibition from the original glass negative also exhibited, exemplifies Acolatse’s activity as a portrait photographer of the upper class. Here, he captures a group of men posing outdoors in front of a large painted backdrop of an aristocratic interior. While Acolatse would have most likely cropped the final print, his wide framing reveals the wall of a building and the sand of the street of Lomé, and betrays the tension between reality and photographic fiction.