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Caribbean Museum Center Presents Photography Exhibit

Dec. 11, 2008 – The Caribbean Museum Center of the Arts presents "The Change at the Turn of the Century: Emilie Langkjaer, a Photographer Records Life in Frederiksted, 1898-1913."
Emilie Langkjaer was a young Danish woman traveling to the then Danish West Indies with her husband, who had been appointed police lawyer for Frederiksted Fort. She was newly married, expecting a child and embarking on a life in a new environment. The Langkjaers lived at 10 Strand Street, which is now the exhibition space and offices for the Caribbean Center for the Arts.
A photography exhibit of over 50 images in black and white that were taken by Langkjaer between 1898 and 1913 will be exhibited from Dec. 19 through Jan. 21. The opening reception will be held from at 5:30-9:30 p.m., Dec. 19, at CMCA, the residence where Emilie Langkjaer developed the images.
In 1902, Denmark realized that it needed to upgrade their infrastructure and constructed an extension of the telegraph line, the building of another central factory for the grinding of sugar with the most modern machinery, and the construction of three steamships to sail directly to and from Europe and the islands, bringing mail, passengers and freight, Langkjaer, with her camera and her knowledge of developing photographs, was commissioned to record these changes.
Two lectures will be given on the opening night. Anne Walbom, the president of the Danish West Indian Society of Denmark, will talk on Langkjaer and her photography, and Andreas Trier Morch, an architect, will trace "Photography in the 1900s."
Other activities focusing on the collection will be on Jan. 10, in which members of the Ancestor Discovery Group will host an Intergenerational Photo Workshop inviting children, their parents and their grandparents to discuss the photographs. This discussion will be led by Veronica Phillips. There will be school visits to the exhibit with art teachers Jan. 13-15, and George Tyson will talk on "The Social and Economic Background of St. Croix during this Period" at 5:30 p.m., on Jan. 20.
Besides the commissioned images, she took pictures of everyday happenings that interested her such as women selling goods on the streets, women washing clothes, nannies and children, and of course, her own family and friends. She realized that some of the images could be made into postcards. She had a sense of which images visitors would like to send home to friends and family.
The exhibit, curated by Anne Walbom and Betsy Rezende, is supported by the Virgin Islands Humanities Council, State Division of Humanities Councils and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
For more information, call CMCA at 772-2622 or Betsy at 998-4147.

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