Selected Press and Media

WSJ (29 August 2020)

Chadwick Boseman’s Career Amplified Black Culture, History

The surprise news on Friday of actor Chadwick Boseman’s death at age 43 left his fans and industry peers struggling to take stock of a meteoric career cut short, and the impact of an actor whose work shined a light on Black history and culture.

LA TImes (February 2020)

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open in December

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures claimed the Oscars stage Sunday to tout its own forthcoming premiere: The long-delayed, much-anticipated Los Angeles museum devoted to filmmaking will open Dec. 14.

Smithsonian Magazine (January 2020)

Trove of Stunning Dance Photography Now Online

Modern dance impresario Alvin Ailey once asked photographer Jack Mitchell to shoot publicity images of his dancers for their next performance without even knowing the title of their new work. Seeing “choreography” in the images Mitchell produced Ailey leapt into an ongoing professional relationship with Mitchell.

Artnet (March 2019)

A Newly Uncovered Photograph of a Young Harriet Tubman Offers a Different View of the Abolitionist Pioneer

The photo is part of a historic collection of photographs of abolitionists and political leaders.

Time Magazine (February 2019)

12 Leaders Who Are Shaping the Next Generation of Artists

"As a curator at the museum, tickets to which consistently sell out, Combs searches for quotidian items that might stretch museumgoers’ common understanding of history."

ArtNews (December 2019)

Sotheby’s Prize Goes to Black Cinema Survey at Academy Museum in Los Angeles

Sotheby’s has given its annual Sotheby’s Prize to “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970,” a survey exhibition to be held at the soon-to-open Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles in 2020. 

The Washington Post (October 2018)

Smithsonian’s new film festival offers opportunity — and hope — to filmmakers of color

Sharing these types of stories is an integral part of the festival, according to Rhea Combs, the event’s lead organizer and curator of film and photography at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

The Guardian (June 2018)

Watching Oprah: exhibition dedicated to star who 'chronicled an ever-changing America'

New exhibition at the National Museum of African American History places Winfrey and her storied career at the centre of the American story

The Washington Post (June 2018)

Oprah Winfrey is part of American history — and now has the museum exhibition to prove it

Curators Rhea L. Combs and Kathleen Kendrick worked with Winfrey and her staff on arranging loans for the exhibition and on fact-checking and background information.

The Washingtonian (June 2018)

An Inside Look at DC’s New Oprah Exhibit

Combs, who along with Kendrick worked on the exhibit for 18 months, spoke with Washingtonian about her experience with the project and meeting Oprah. The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s newest exhibit, Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture.

The New York Times (February 23, 2018)

Photographing Hip-Hop’s Golden Era

“The culture has morphed and changed as things do over time, but these pictures speak to the grass roots nature of it,” said Rhea L. Combs, the museum’s curator of film and photography. 

HuffPost (June 2018)

‘Watching Oprah,’ A New Smithsonian Exhibit, Is Like Watching America

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is devoting a yearlong special exhibition to the media mogul’s cultural legacy.

The New York Times (June 2018)

Oprah Earned This Museum Show. And It’s a Potent Spectacle.

She and her thousands of hours of TV are now the subjects of a big, fascinating exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture that captures what the show was, did and has meant. 

The New York Times

From Duke Ellington to Public Enemy: Images of Hip-Hop and Its Cultural Roots

An exhibition at a Smithsonian Museum draws the connections between hip-hop and previous generations of African-American musicians and activists.

The New York Times

Vintage Photos Recall the Early Days of Hip-Hop, Before it Became a Billion-Dollar Industry

At present I think when you think about the museum and you think about the mission of the museum, it is one that wants to provide a sweep of African-American history and culture,” explains Rhea Combs, a curator of photography.

The Farmville Herald (July 29, 2015)

Giving Birth to History

At present I think when you think about the museum and you think about the mission of the museum, it is one that wants to provide a sweep of African-American history and culture,” explains Rhea Combs, a curator of photography.

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