Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery

The Pretend Villages

Photographs by Christopher Sims

October 23, 2021 – February 27, 2022


The Photography Gallery, once called the Special Collections Hallway Gallery, had its first exhibition in 2003. This gallery was developed primarily to highlight the collections from the Archive of Documentary Arts of the Rubenstein Library, and shows have often been curated by living artists of their work. The 2015 renovation of the Rubenstein Library changed the space from a simple hallway to a wider, well designed gallery that will better display the Rubenstein Collections.


The Photography Gallery is located between the entrance to the Rubenstein Library reading room and the entrance to the Mary Duke Biddle Room. The space is approximately 67 feet long by 25 feet wide. This gallery has two kiosks for showcasing digital material, but the majority of the space is most suitable to 2-dimensional work. This space has limited temperature and relative humidity control, and there is a limit to the amount of security available as this space is open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week when school is in session.

Policy Information

This gallery is open to the public whenever the library is open. This room is a through-way and therefore will rarely be available for public events, unless related to exhibitions. The exhibition space is primarily to exhibit materials from the Rubenstein Archive of Documentary Arts. Due to environmental conditions, there are some limits to what Rubenstein materials can be shown in this space, and there are no exhibit cases located in this area.

Donor Information

This gallery currently has no donor. For information about naming this gallery, visit the development website.

Past Exhibits from the Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery

James Van Der Zee and Michael Francis Blake

Picturing Blackness in the 1920s

Color Falls Down

Photographs by Priya Kambli

Slow Burn

A Photodocument of Centralia, Pennsylvania, Photographs by Renée Jacobs

The Sweet Flypaper of Life

Photographs by Roy DeCarava. Text by Langston Hughes.

To Survive on this Shore

Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults by Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre

Propitious Wind and Rain

Photographs from Kunshan by Tom Rankin


Photographs by Wendel White

Test of Faith

signs, Serpents, Salvation

Dream of a House

The Passions & Preoccupations of Reynolds Price

There’s Content

Five Years of the Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts

The Tomb in the Corner of the Garden

Selections from the Picture File

Where We Live

A North Carolina Portrait


The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila

Sidney D. Gamble in China, 1908-1932

Photographs from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Documenting the Politics of Food

Photographs from the Rubenstein Library Collections

Flesh and Metal, Bodies and Buildings

Works from Jonathan Hyman’s Archive of 9/11 Vernacular Memorials

Deena Stryker

Photographs of Cuba, 1963-1964