Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Ark., United States
03 Feb 2018 - 23 Apr 2018

Art Work created by Smokehouse Associates, William T. Williams, Melvin Edwards, Guy Ciarcia and Billy Rose. Photograph by Robert Colton, New York, N.Y. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, N.Y.

Soul of a Nation shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists to an important period in American history and art. Developed by the Tate Modern in London the exhibition is debuting in the US at Crystal Bridges in February 2018.

Featuring the work of 60 artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America. Soul of a Nation examines the influences, including the civil rights movement, Minimalism, and abstraction, on artists such as Romare Bearden, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams.

Some artists, galvanized by the spirit of the civil rights movement, created images that spoke of solidarity, strength, and resistance, while others focused primarily on color, form, and concept. Some works paid homage to legendary African American figures from the period, including political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane, and sports hero Jack Johnson. The variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists and collectives at work during these explosive times.

Crystal Bridges is one of only two American venues to host this important exhibition, described as both powerful, and at times, challenging. Following its debut in Bentonville, the exhibition travels to the Brooklyn Museum in New York.


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR 72712




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