Photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe has produced a wide-ranging body of work examining the ramifications of the historical outcomes of slavery, the expressly intimate moments of a family in the face of personal tragedy and a broad engagement of the history of photography. She has been featured in numerous publications and has had many solo and group exhibitions around the world, including The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Galerie Hervé Odermatt in Paris, France, The Excelsior in Florence, Italy, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Leica Gallery in New York City. The author of five books, including the 25th Anniversary Edition of Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, winner of the Essence Literary Award in photography. In 2011 she traveled to Nepal on behalf of healthcare organizations to document healthcare workers’ efforts to address medical issues the country.
Ms. Moutoussamy-Ashe has lectured at various educational and cultural institutions around the country and taught photography to high school and college level students. In 1995, President Clinton appointed her as an alternate representative of the United States to the United Nations General Assembly. Currently, she is a director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS and serves on the President’s Council of The Cooper Union, of which she is also a former Trustee.
In 2008, she founded the Arthur Ashe Learning Center (AALC), an educational nonprofit organization. From 2012 - 2013 the AALC raised more than $1 million to support the AALC Inspirational Tour Exhibit, an educational exhibit that examines the life and legacy of Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. through the lenses of tennis and sport, youth and education, health and wellness, civic engagement and citizenship. Under her leadership, the AALC successfully installed the Inspirational Tour in Richmond, VA and Queens, NY during the summer of 2013. She arranged a permanent home for the exhibit at the University of California Los Angeles, with funding to support its installation and upkeep, where it will be open and available to the public in perpetuity, alongside other items and representations of her late husband’s legacy.
In 2013 Ms. Moutoussamy-Ashe received a Ford Foundation grant to conduct research on photographs from the 1963 March on Washington and curate an exhibition. In 2014, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture obtained the Daufuskie Island collection as part of their permanent collection, recognizing the importance of the Gullah people and their distinguished place in American history. Examining these myriad accomplishments alongside the intersection of documentation and fine art photography reveals as a common precept: her work reflects a commitment to recording her environment as a fine artist and employing that record to engage a greater cause.