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Witness

Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties

August 30, 2014, through December 14, 2014
Benny Andrews, Witness

Benny Andrews, Witness, 1968, oil on canvas with painted fabric collage. © Estate of Benny Andrews / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo by Joshua Nefsky; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Barkley L. Hendricks, Lawdy Mama

Barkley L. Hendricks, Lawdy Mama, 1969, oil and gold leaf on canvas. The Studio Museum in Harlem, Gift of Stuart Liebman, in memory of Joseph B. Liebman, 83.25. © Barkley L. Hendricks. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York 

Jacob Lawrence, Soldiers and Students

Jacob Lawrence, Soldiers and Students, 1962, opaque watercolor over graphite on wove paper. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Bequest of Jay R. Wolf, Class of 1951; W.976.187. © 2014 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 

Joe Overstreet, The New Jemima

Joe Overstreet, The New Jemima, 1964–1970 acrylic on fabric over plywood construction. The Menil Collection, Houston. Photograph by Paul Hester. 

Jack Whitten, Birmingham 1964

Jack Whitten, Birmingham 1964, 1964, aluminum foil, newsprint, stocking, and oil on plywood. Collection of the artist, courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Jack Whitten 

Edward Kienholz, It Takes Two to Integrate (Cha, Cha, Cha)

Edward Kienholz, It Takes Two to Integrate (Cha, Cha, Cha), 1961, painted dolls, dried fish, glass in wooden box. Collection of David R. Packard and M. Bernadette Castor, Portola Valley, CA © Kienholz. Photo: Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, California 

David Hammons, The Door (Admissions Office)

David Hammons, The Door (Admissions Office), 1969, wood, acrylic sheet, and pigment construction. California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum. © David Hammons 

Jae Jarrell, Urban Wall Suit

Jae Jarrell, Urban Wall Suit, ca. 1969, sewn and painted cotton and silk, two-piece suit. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R. M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange; Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.16. © Jae Jarrell 

Jeff Donaldson, Wives of Shango

Jeff Donaldson, Wives of Shango, 1969, watercolor with mixed media on paper. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R. M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harriss, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange; Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.13. © Jameela K. Donaldson 

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.

This exhibition is curated by Teresa A. Carbone, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.

Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and made possible by the Ford Foundation.

The exhibition’s presentation at the Hood Museum of Art was generously supported by Claire Foerster and Daniel S. Bernstein, Class of 1987; Kate and Yaz Krehbiel, Class of 1991, Thayer 1992; and the Leon C. 1927, Charles L. 1955, and Andrew J. 1984 Greenebaum Fund.

Curated by Teresa A. Carbone, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum / Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University

Press release 

Press Release (351.89 KB)

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