Arts preview: Marching Forward at the Elijah Pierce Gallery

Jim Fischer
"Maryland Pool 1960" by Kojo Kamau

Growing up, William Richardson knew his father at one time or another as the owner of a construction company and a bowling alley. Marion Richardson liked to take photographs, but his family didn't really think of him as a photographer.

But his legacy is such, as Richardson's photos document the African-American neighborhoods of Columbus' near East Side from the 1920s through the 1950s.

It was after the elder Richardson passed away in 1984 that the historical and cultural significance of his work started to attract the attention of community leaders and the art community.

"There is a body of work that dealt with the various aspects of the African-American community," William Richardson said. "He had a vision about what he was trying to communicate via his perspective of the community."

The younger Richardson is responsible for the archiving and presentation of his father's photography. He said, though, that the work does not belong to him.

"It really belongs to the community. We are the caretakers," he said. "There are real stories to these photos."

The King Arts Complex will host Marching Forward with History Wisdom Faith in its Elijah Pierce Gallery Dec. 17 through Jan. 30, 2016. The collection will include 75 photographs of the King-Lincoln District from the 1920s through the 1970s.

In addition to a selection of photographs from Richardson's catalog, the exhibition will include works by two other documentary photographers, Kojo Kamau and Bob Stull, who were concerned with Columbus' East Side neighborhoods.

"I was just beginning as (Marion Richardson) stopped shooting in the late '50s," Kamau said. "I was shooting the same kinds of things, even though I wasn't aware of his work until later."

A designer trunk show featuring furnishings and framings by W Riche Originals (William Richardson) will be held in conjunction with History Wisdom Faith.

King Arts Complex

6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17

867 Mt. Vernon Ave., King-Lincoln District