Collection of photographs showing descendants of slaves donated to Smithsonian

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Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 8:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A collection of photographs documenting the descendants of slaves on a once-isolated island off the South-Carolina-Georgia coast is being donated to the new African-American history museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Bank of America officials tell The Associated Press they will give the museum 61 photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the wife of the late tennis player Arthur Ashe. She photographed Daufuskie Island between 1977 and 1981 and the Gullah/Geechee people who lived there.

Museum curators say the island was like a time capsule where descendants of slaves preserved their West African heritage through the centuries.

The bank has an art collection of about 10,000 works and lends items free of charge to museums for about 10 to 12 shows a year. The bank also has announced a $1 million donation to the museum.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to open in late 2015.

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