Gallery Mondays: ‘Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015’

1958 Unbranded: A Century of White Women Hank Willis Thomas

I just got back to New York after a week of vacation, and I’m going to be really honest: I wish I’d stayed longer.

I love NYC and all, but the city stresses are already creeping back onto me.

However, looking at this piece from Hank Willis Thomas’ Unbranded: A Century of White Women reminds me that someday soon I’ll be on a beach somewhere sipping on something delicious like this 1958 blondie.

Soon.

Oh, and if you’re wondering where I went, you can find out tomorrow here.

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Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 @ Jack Shainman Gallery

Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 by Hank Willis Thomas @ Jack Shainman Gallery on W 24th

Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 by Hank Willis Thomas @ Jack Shainman Gallery on W 24th

After reading about this exhibit in New York Magazine a few weeks ago, I made it my business to see Hank Willis Thomas’ “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015” at the Jack Shainman Gallery.

My obsession for the culture of the 1920s and 1950s really made me appreciate this exhibit. Interestingly, all of these portraits are advertisements striped of the words that go along with them. I wish I could go back in time to see Thomas’ earlier exhibit of the same concept, titled “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2008.” I’m sure it was amazing.

The exhibit really makes you think about how different picture ads would be without words. They just look like normal pictures you’d see in a history textbook or on the wall in a nice house.

Not surprisingly, some of my favorites in the exhibit were ads from the 1920s and the 1950s. And also the ones that featured couples. Can’t help my hopeless romantic eye!

1. 1922 (left)

White women 4

Ahh, courtship ❤

2. 1953 (far right)

White women 3

Mary Kay cosmetics?

3. 1929

White women 5

Why do I feel so concerned about them falling?!

4. 1939 

In another life, I think I would have had a thing for sailors.

In another life, I think I would have had a thing for sailors.

5. 1948 & 1947 (left & second from left)

Doesn't the woman in the middle look a bit like Natalie Portman?

Doesn’t the woman second from the left look a bit like Natalie Portman?

6. 1938

I'm glad Amelia Earhart was included in this exhibit :)

I’m glad Amelia Earhart was included in this exhibit 🙂

7. 1958 (right)

Pour it up, baby! (Probably some sort of beer commercial)

Pour it up, baby! (Probably some sort of beer ad)

Can we expect to see a “Century of Men” anytime soon Mr. Thomas?

Be sure to check out this exhibit before it closes on May 23rd!