[UPDATED 12/29/21] As a photographer and curator, it’s rare that an art show moves me to tears. But that’s exactly what happened with “Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On,” a retrospective photography exhibition at the George Eastman Museum.

The dark walls and dim lights of the gallery space drew me in. At the entrance of the exhibit is a mirror with the words “BE REAL BLACK FOR ME.”

This imperative achieved two things — welcoming Black viewers into a museum that caters to predominantly white artists for predominantly white audiences, and challenging white viewers to shift their mindsets.

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  • PHOTO PROVIDED
  • “Hank, 76, and Samm, 67, North Little Rock, AR,” a portrait by Jess T. Dugan, is part of George Eastman Museum’s current exhibit, “To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults.”

There are some stubbornly-held and often-loud beliefs out there that transgender people are a new phenomenon, as though they materialized as part of a 21st-century youth-led conspiracy to destroy the desperately-clung-to gender binary.

It’s simply

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  • PHOTO COURTESY GEORGE EASTMAN MUSEUM
  • For much of his career, photographer Carl Chiarenza made collages from ripped paper and other bits of detritus and photographed them, resulting in quietly powerful abstract images such as the 1990 gelatin silver print, “Untitled 280,” seen here.

A lot has changed for photographer Carl Chiarenza since the 1950s, when as a teenager he was a valet parker at a new museum then called the George Eastman House. In those

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