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Stephen Bonadies and Courtney Tkacz

"We bought the archives of Louis Draper, a photographer originally from Richmond, VA, from his sister, Nell Draper Winston, who recognized the importance of making his story known in his hometown. The archive is made up of more than 50,000 photographs, writings, negatives, slides and other pieces. It is an incredible treasure. Draper grew up in Richmond during the 1940s and 50s, when it was still segregated. He moved to New York in the midst of the growing civil rights movement and his papers express his commitment to capturing the dignity of everyday people in the neighborhoods where he lived.

 We are the largest art museum in Virginia. As a state museum, we want to make sure our collections are accessible to as many people as possible. Through our NEH grant, we plan to bring Draper’s work to the larger public. We first plan to hire a photographer to take new, high-quality images. We will then work with a web developer to create a new web portal with enhanced search functionality to make it as easy as possible to find something in the collection. Our goal is to paint a complete picture of Louis Draper, capturing the impact he made during his time and documenting the legacy he leaves for future artists."