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MoMA announces major publication examining the museum's history in the cultural politics of race
Hervé Télémaque, No Title (The Ugly American). 1962 / 64. Oil on canvas, two panels. Overall: 6 ft. 5 1/2 in. × 8 ft. 6 3/8 in. (197 × 260 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis in honor of a lovely American, Jerry Speyer, 2018. © 2019 Hervé Télémaque, courtesy the artist. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar © The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Imaging and Visual Resources.


NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art announced the publication of Among Others: Blackness at MoMA, to be released on September 3. This landmark publication represents the first effort by The Museum of Modern Art to examine its history and collection by highlighting the role of black artists, the black community, and art about blackness over the past nine decades. Among Others features nearly 200 works in the Museum’s collection by 132 black artists from around the world, as well as a selection of works by nonblack artists dealing with race and race-related subjects. Each work is discussed in a short text, commissioned for this volume. The contributing authors include MoMA curators and an array of scholars, curators, and artists who are among the strongest voices in current research on art and cultural difference. Among Others offers a variety of generational and political perspectives and presents a broad range of artists who work in styles, themes, and mediums across the Museum’s collection.

The publication begins with two historical essays. The first, by Darby English and Charlotte Barat, traces the history of MoMA’s encounters with racial blackness since its founding—the Museum's early interest in African art and solo exhibitions devoted to the work of artists such as William Edmondson and Jacob Lawrence in the 1930s and 1940s, its activities during the Civil Rights Movement, and the controversial 1984 exhibition “Primitivism” in Twentieth Century Art and beyond. English and Barat ask how MoMA’s criterion of “quality” in judging modern art has rendered its collection open to some and closed to others, paying particular attention to the tension between modernism’s universal claims and the reality of cultural specificity. The second essay, by Mabel O. Wilson, chronicles the Museum’s omissions in the exhibiting and collecting of work by black architects and designers and suggests the ways in which such oversights were both informed by and further reinforced patterns of discrimination in the field. Both essays take an uncompromising look at a major American museum’s past at a moment when issues of racial equality and inclusiveness have gained renewed prominence in our civic discourse.

The book has been edited by Darby English, Adjunct Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, and the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, and Charlotte Barat, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

Contributing writers include: Esther Adler, Margaret Aldredge-Diamond, Sean Anderson, Carol Armstrong, Julie Ault, Quentin Bajac, Dawoud Bey, Giampaolo Bianconi, Klaus Biesenbach, Gregg Bordowitz, Jessica Bell Brown, Linda Goode Bryant, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Kaira M. Cabañas, Andrianna Campbell, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Sophie Cavoulacos, Mary Weaver Chapin, Christophe Cherix, Lisa Collins, Stuart Comer, Roberto Conduru, Lynne Cooke, John Corbett, Kate Cowcher, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Crow, Emily Cushman, Edwidge Danticat, J. Michael Dash, Samuel R. Delany, Leah Dickerman, Liz Donato, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Adrienne Edwards, Peter Eleey, Anthony Elms, Starr Figura, Jacqueline Francis, Samantha Friedman, Diana Fuss, Samba Gadjigo, Ellen Gallagher, Lucy Gallun, Kristen Gaylord, Hanna Girma, Robert Gober, Karen Grimson, Rachel Haidu, Irena Haiduk, Claudrena N. Harold, Phillip Brian Harper, Jenny Harris, Jodi Hauptman, Cannon Hersey, Heidi Hirschl Orley, Harmony Holiday, Laura Hoptman, Amanda Hunt, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Ashley James, Ana Janevski, Martha Joseph, Bouchra Khalili, Byron Kim, Michelle Kuo, Abigail Lapin Dardashti, Thomas J. Lax, Glenn Ligon, Ron Magliozzi, Cara Manes, Roxana Marcoci, Kerry James Marshall, Courtney J. Martin, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Mia Matthias, Sarah Hermanson Meister, Kobena Mercer, Carmen Merport Quiñones, Richard Meyer, Jocelyn Miller, Anne Monahan, Anne Morra, Fred Moten, Sasha Nicholas, Tavia Nyong'o, UgochukwuSmooth C. Nzewi, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Kirsi Peltomäki, Luis PérezOramas, Paulina Pobocha, Antonia Pocock, Ross Posnock, Richard J. Powell, Martin Puryear, Christian Rattemeyer, Yasmil Raymond, Hillary Reder, Jodi Roberts, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Schlenzka, Abbe Schriber, Christina Sharpe, Kelly Sidley, Lowery Stokes Sims, Robert Slifkin, Jenni Sorkin, Katerina Stathopoulou, Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Greg Tate, Lanka Tattersall, Phil Taylor, Hervé Télémaque, Ann Temkin, Akili Tommasino, Ana Torok, Luc Tuymans, Anne Umland, Sarah Van Beurden, Niko Vicario, Susan Vogel, Anne M. Wagner, Kara Walker, Kenneth W. Warren, Deborah Willis, Sharon Willis, Leslie Wilson, Edith Wolfe, Sebastian Zeidler.

Among Others: Blackness at MoMA is published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and will be available at MoMA stores and online at store.moma.org. Hardcover, $65/£52. 484 pages, 300 illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-63345-034-9. Distributed to the trade through ARTBOOK|D.A.P. in the United States and Canada and through Thames & Hudson outside the United States and Canada.





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