Art and Archives

We have been very busy with art and archives activities at Narrative Network.  We moved our personal art collection to new digs and co-produced major museum acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Narrative Network’s seasonal Auntyland Film Festival will return soon.

Meanwhile, here are some photographic highlights and excerpts from the recent Smithsonian exhibition “Ad King Extraordinaire, about Byron Lewis Sr., my beloved husband, a pioneering advertising pioneer, and civil rights activist.

“The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is marking the significant impact of UniWorld Group advertising founder Byron Lewis (born 1931) with the addition of materials from his pioneering career to the national collections in a New York donation ceremony Oct. 5.

Lewis founded UniWorld in 1969 to champion multicultural advertising and promote the interests of Black and Latina/o consumers. He and UniWorld took the American market by storm, creating multi-media advertisements for clients such as Mars Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, AT&T, Stax Records, Avon, Ford Motor, Quaker Oats Company, Burger King, the U.S. Marines, and more.”

To read more, go here:

“Collections from groundbreaking entrepreneurs Byron Lewis and Lillian Vernon will be showcased in a new display within the landmark “American Enterprise” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History beginning Oct. 17. The two stories, “Lillian Vernon, Kitchen Table Millionaire” and “Byron Lewis, Ad King Extraordinaire,” will be featured in the exhibition’s Consumer Era (1940s–1970s) section.

The exhibit will feature selected objects from across both entrepreneurs’ career trajectories, including Vernon’s original yellow Formica kitchen table and Lewis’ antique French provincial desk and chair. Her kitchen table served as a foundation for Vernon’s home business-turned-major corporation, The Lillian Vernon Corp., and Lewis ran his pioneering ad agency, UniWorld Group, from behind this desk.  

“Innovations in broadcasting, advertising, postwar consumerism and an increased number of women and African Americans in the business world really begins between the 1960s and 1970s,” said Anthea M. Hartig, the museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan Director. “It is in this ‘consumer era’ that we see entrepreneurs such as Lewis’ and Vernon use their persistence, creativity and drive to launch and see their enterprises thrive.”

To learn more, go here: