Collection Facts

Extent: 
320 items
Dates of Original: 
2012 - 2016
NYH Topic Area(s):

Historical Context

The exhibition Portraits of Hope: Faces of Refugee Resettlement in Central New York depicted survivors of war, genocide, and political strife who came to the U.S. and settled in the Utica region after living in refugee camps in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. This exhibition of more than 30 photographs celebrated diversity, and confronted stereotypes about resettlement while exploring the challenges and aspirations of local refugees starting over in a new land.

Selected portraits from the Portraits of Hope Collection were exhibited at Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute from June 12, 2016 through December 31, 2016, in conjunction with The World through His Lens.

Scope of Collection

Lynne Browne, working with Dr. Kathryn Stam’s and SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s project Refugees Starting Over, photographed the subjects of Portraits of Hope at cultural events in Utica and Rome from 2012 to 2016. While many of the subjects came to Utica over the past 15 years, some arrived only a few days before they were photographed. The portraits capture the pain of the past as well as the promise of a new future: memories of love and joy mingle with the distress of departure and novel experiences, both bright and bewildering, in a new land.