What’s on the walls inside the Barnes remains off-limits as Philadelphia continues its cautious approach to reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the museum’s exterior walls became a must-see for many over the Father’s Day weekend, where an outdoor art installation paying tribute to Black fathers was projected on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Sam Iam of Philadelphia entertains his 16-month-old son, Aether, while watching the outdoor photography installation by West Philly artist Ken McFarlane.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Sam Iam of Philadelphia entertains his 16-month-old son, Aether, while watching the outdoor photography installation by West Philly artist Ken McFarlane.

From the Root to the Fruit: Portraits of Black Fathers and Their Children is the work of West Philadelphia-based photographer Ken McFarlane and presented free of charge to anyone who happened by the display at 20th Street and The Parkway.

The Barnes called the 15-minute documentary that continuously played from 8 to 11 p.m. a celebration of Black fatherhood “while counteracting the false narrative of the absentee Black father. McFarlane’s work amplifies images of strength, dignity, pride, and success to drown out the cacophony of negative imagery surrounding the Black body.”

The Barnes described "From the Root to the Fruit" as an ongoing documentary project "that celebrates Black fatherhood while counteracting the false narrative of the absentee Black father. McFarlane’s work amplifies images of strength, dignity, pride, and success to drown out the cacophony of negative imagery surrounding the Black body."
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
The Barnes described "From the Root to the Fruit" as an ongoing documentary project "that celebrates Black fatherhood while counteracting the false narrative of the absentee Black father. McFarlane’s work amplifies images of strength, dignity, pride, and success to drown out the cacophony of negative imagery surrounding the Black body."

The installation was a partnership between the Barnes and We Embrace Fatherhood, a coalition of West Philadelphia fathers, artists, and activists, the Mantua Civic Association, and PC Radio Live.