Exhibitions: Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties

March 7–July 6, 2014

Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor

Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties offers a focused look at painting, sculpture, graphics, and photography from a decade defined by social protest and American race relations. In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this exhibition considers how sixty-six of the decade’s artists, including African Americans and some of their white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Caribbean contemporaries, used wide-ranging aesthetic approaches to address the struggle for racial justice.

The 1960s was a period of dramatic social and cultural upheaval, when artists aligned themselves with the massive campaign to end discrimination and bridged racial borders through creative work and acts of protest. Bringing activism to bear in gestural and geometric abstraction, assemblage, Minimalism, Pop imagery, and photography, these artists produced powerful works informed by the experience of inequality, conflict, and empowerment. In the process, they tested the political viability of their art, and originated subjects that spoke to resistance, self-definition, and blackness.

Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties is organized by Teresa A. Carbone, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Kellie Jones, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Ford Foundation.

Generous support for the exhibition's education and public programs is provided by American Express.

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Comment by Sonya Walker on January 1, 2014 at 10:28am

I would love to see this show.

Comment by sue westaway on December 27, 2013 at 6:29pm

out of great suffering comes powerful works of art...I feel your struggle...

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