Art21 Extended Play

Sally Mann and The Two Virginias

Virginia Franklin Carter. Production still from the series ART21 "Exclusive." © ART21, Inc. 2014. Courtesy Sally Mann.

Virginia Franklin Carter. Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2014. Courtesy Sally Mann.

“There are a number of things that set southern artists apart from anyone else.” —Sally Mann

In today’s ART21 Exclusive, photographer Sally Mann reflects on the life of Virginia Franklin Carter (1894–1994), the African American woman who helped raise the artist and her two brothers. “My parents were important but Virginia may have been the single most important person in my life,” she says. Mann’s youngest daughter is named after Carter and appears alongside her in the series The Two Virginias (1988–1991). Carter is also included in Mann’s forthcoming memoir Hold Still, due out in May 2015. Mann writes: “Left with six children and a public education system for which she paid taxes but which forbade classes for black children beyond the seventh grade, Gee-Gee managed somehow to send each of them to out-of-state boarding schools and, ultimately, to college.” In addition to The Two Virginias, this Exclusive features images from Mann’s Deep South series (1992–2004) and her photograph Virginia Asleep (1988).

ART21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by 21c Museum Hotel and by individual contributors.

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interviewer: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Doug Dunderdale. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Sally Mann. Archival Photography Courtesy: Sally Mann & The Carter Family. Theme Music: Peter Foley.