Call for Objects and Photographs

December 21, 2018

Christian Stegall, pictured above with Intern Quinn Barrett, is the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Interpretive Fellow at the HRM. This one-year fellowship focuses on discovering, documenting, and discussing Yonkers’ diversity as it relates to the Museum. Read more about the project here.

Four months ago, at the beginning of my fellowship at the HRM, I began collecting objects and artifacts that exemplify the diverse history of Yonkers. Through this work, I have had the honor of attending public events on behalf of the Museum, meeting and working with countless community members, and broadening the scope of the HRM’s archival holdings.

My search for photographs, objects, and stories of people of color has driven me far and wide—to churches, community centers, and local businesses. Recently, I was given one of the oldest and most unique photos my quest has revealed so far. Dressed in his Sunday best, a young black boy attends his sixth-grade graduation in 1912, standing with his diploma in one hand and beaming with pride as he reflects on his accomplishment. The boy’s joy and satisfaction encapsulate the enthusiastic response I have received from people with whom I’ve talked about this project. Many have joined me in this endeavor, and I sincerely thank them for their contributions.

But, I need more. Specifically, I’m looking for images of Latinx and Asian Americans, both historical and contemporary. My goal is to display a selection of images in an exhibition in Summer 2019, the culmination of a year of outreach and object collection with communities in Yonkers who have often been overlooked, to make the Museum’s story of Yonkers more representative of its diverse history.

I am here to listen to everyone who is willing to speak. If you are reading this and have photographs and objects relating to the rich history of Yonkers, I hope that you answer the call. After all, the missing gems that I need might be in your possession. You can contact me directly at cstegall@hrm.org. Thank you!