The Chicago History Museum today announced the acquisition of 117 photographs and two copies of Chicago Protests: A Joyful Revolution, from Chicago-based visual artist and author, Vashon Jordan Jr. His donated work was inspired by civil injustices in 2020 and the persistent demonstrations that took place across Chicago, showcasing the resilience and authenticity of Chicago and its people. Chicago Protests: A Joyful Revolution is currently in the museum’s research center and the photographs will be made available to the public on the Museum’s image portal later this year. Several photos will be featured in an upcoming exhibition that highlights the tumultuous and triumphant events of 2020.
“Vashon Jordan Jr.’s work sheds light on our city’s strength and resilience and aligns directly with our mission to share Chicago stories,” said Charles E. Bethea, Andrew W. Mellon Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Chicago History Museum. “We are honored to have his poignant work in our collection and make his photographs available to the public to learn from and shape our future.”
Jordan Jr.’s book, Chicago Protests: A Joyful Revolution, showcases his photos from more than 35 different demonstrations and moments in Chicago that shaped a summer of unrest in 2020. His partnership with the museum is ongoing and includes additional photo donations featuring Lori Lightfoot’s inauguration in 2019 and future notable events in Chicago.
“The city of Chicago showed unmatched resilience and hope during the summer of 2020, sparked by unrest and civil injustices taking place across the country. When we look back on this time, I want young people to see themselves represented for the enormous strides we made together,” said Vashon Jordan Jr., author of Chicago Protests: A Joyful Revolution. “I am excited to share my photography with the Chicago History Museum and its audiences, as it shows people of all backgrounds and identities coming together in solidarity, embarking on a joyful revolution.”
Vashon Jordan Jr., 21 years old, is a visual artist who uses photography and videography to showcase authentic moments that reflect the people of Chicago. He enjoys engaging with youth across the city to inspire and encourage activism. Jordan Jr. received his Associate in Arts from Kennedy-King College and is currently studying at Columbia College Chicago