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Self portrait by Dona Ann McAdams.

The Arts

Photographer Dona Ann McAdams to give free talk at BMAC

BRATTLEBORO—Photographer Dona Ann McAdams will discuss her life and work with Marlboro College Professor of American Studies Kate Ratcliff on Tuesday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. The talk is free and open to the public.

This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts,” a retrospective of four decades of McAdams’ work curated by John Killacky, on view at BMAC through Sept. 23.

Resplendent black-and-white photographs from McAdams’ expansive oeuvre feature historic images of avant-garde performers, pioneers of queer liberation, portraits of people living with mental illness, cloistered nuns, race track workers, and luminous images of horses, oxen, and goats.

In the mid-1970s, McAdams was inspired by her friendship with civil rights icon Harvey Milk to use her camera to encourage social change. Among many other subjects, McAdams photographed the “NEA Four,” performance artists whose work became the focus of conservative outrage in the early 1990s.

A longtime New York City resident, McAdams now lives on a goat farm in Sandgate with her husband, the writer Brad Kessler.

Kate Ratcliff teaches American Studies and Gender Studies at Marlboro College, where she helps students to engage critically with the concept of “America” and with the diversity of the American experience, especially in terms of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.

For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #518 (Wednesday, July 10, 2019). This story appeared on page B3.

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