Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Art in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Matthew Bailey

Second Advisor

Kelly Scheffer

Third Advisor

Khristin Landry


This thesis is about the portrait photographers, Florestine Perrault Collins (1895-1988) and Richard Samuel Roberts (1880-1936), and how their photographs portrayed “non-othering” representations of their sitters. Collin and Roberts’ works are compared to Southern white photographers from the Jim Crow era to argue for how “non-othering” portraits of their community members were produced. This impacts the way identity can be perceived. Religious and educational themed portraits are used to align a visually associated identity with social values the New Orleans Creole and Columbia, South Carolina communities had. This thesis considers Collins’ and Roberts’ portraits in relation to the state of their communities. The portraits in this thesis are discussed through integrating aesthetic evaluation with the Jim Crow era societal state of the New Orleans Creole and the African American Columbia, South Carolina communities. The thesis argues for the importance of these photographers’ role in giving control over visual representation to their respective communities.