Dynamic Range: Photographs by Bill Tennessen

January 19 - May 12, 2024

Bill Tennessen was born in 1934 and grew up on North 39th Street in Milwaukee. He is a 1956 graduate of Marquette University’s College of Business Administration. Tennessen is a self-taught photographer who began contributing photos to the Milwaukee Community Journal, Wisconsin’s largest African American newspaper, in 1981. He has documented the Ernest Lacy demonstrations, Juneteenth Day celebrations, activities of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and the Ko-Thi Dance Company. He captured many of Milwaukee’s Central City storefront churches and the appearance in town of numerous important cultural and political personalities of our time. He has photographed the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette University basketball and many other sports and community events.

Dynamic Range was curated by Lynne Shumow (Haggerty Museum Curator for Academic Engagement) in collaboration with Dr. Robert Smith (Marquette University Harry G. John Professor of History and Director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach—CURTO) and Mia Phifer (Education and Research Coordinator at America’s Black Holocaust Museum). Additional assistance was provided by Kate Rose, Caroline Bielski, Sebastien Brown, Sophia Furman, Logan Glembin, Niktalia Jules, and Adamali De La Cruz.

Exhibition and brochure design by Daniel Herro (Haggerty Museum Head Designer and Preparator). View the exhibition brochure here.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by the Marquette University Women’s Council Endowment Fund.

Image: Bill Tennessen, American, b. 1934, Juneteenth Day Celebration, 1985 (detail), 8 x 10”, Silver nitrate print, Collection of the artist