Close-Up in Black: African-American Film Posters
chronicled the history of films created by or starring African-Americans through the graphic medium of the movie poster. A traveling Smithsonian exhibit from the collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the show began with the positive images of "race movies" of the 1920s and 1930s, which provided an alternative to the minstrel-type roles commonly found in mainstream movies. It ended with contemporary films such as Monster's Ball
. This show was an opportunity to see what images have appealed to audiences over the years -- dramatic vaudeville-style posters, powerful and sexy blaxploitation posters, and the hip-hop inspired ads for Spike Lee's early films.