Ferris State University receives two million dollar gift of racist photographs

Feb 9, 2018

Ferris State University announced Friday that it has received two million dollars worth of original artwork for it’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia.


The museum, which catalogs racist items, announced that it received 135 large format polaroids from famous photographer David Levinthal.

David Pilgrim is the founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum. He said the photographs come from three of Levinthal’s series including Blackface, which photographed racist household objects.

“Levinthal takes photographs of toys and games and dolls. It’s a fantastic set of prints and they happen to be objects that we have as part of our collection.”

Pilgrim said this donation is a significant one for the university.

“Because of the prominence of the artist/photographer it’s probably the most impactful, certainly from an art standpoint, gift that university has received.”

Pilgrim said he hopes the photographs will spur conversation.

“As corny as it sounds my hope is that it helps our country as we have deeper and better conversations about race.”

Pilgrim said the anonymous donor also donated portions of Levinthal’s Barbie and Mein Kampf series to the museum as examples of discrimination outside racism.

He said the pieces are being documented and will be on display by December.