Cover image for Among others : blackness at MoMA
Title:
Among others : blackness at MoMA
ISBN:
9781633450349
Physical Description:
475 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm
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Book 704.0396 ENG 1 1
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Summary

Summary

Among Others: Blackness at MoMA begins with an essay that provides a rigorous and in-depth analysis of MoMA's history regarding racial issues. It also calls for further developments, leaving space for other scholars to draw on particular moments of that history. It takes an integrated approach to the study of racial blackness and its representation: the book stresses inclusion and, as such, the plate section, rather than isolating black artists, features works by non-black artists dealing with race and race- related subjects. As a collection book, the volume provides scholars and curators with information about the Museum's holdings, at times disclosing works that have been little documented or exhibited. The numerous and high-quality illustrations will appeal to anyone interested in art made by black artists, or in modern art in general.


Author Notes

Darby English is Adjunct Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Carl Darling Buck Professor at the University of Chicago, where he teaches modern and contemporary art and cultural studies. Charlotte Barat is Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mabel O. Wilson is Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in New York.
Darby English is Adjunct Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Carl Darling Buck Professor at the University of Chicago, where he teaches modern and contemporary art and cultural studies. Charlotte Barat is Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mabel O. Wilson is Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in New York.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Part documentation, part self-examination/critique, this substantial catalogue explores inclusion and exclusion of, and indifference to, black art and blackness at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since the institution's founding in 1929. In the book's first essay, two members of the museum's curatorial staff trace the collecting and exhibition practices over the museum's eight-plus decades. Whereas blackness at MoMA has been "continually present as a kind of elephant in the room," the authors discuss moments of enlightenment but note a pervasive, uneven relationship between the museum and black artists and audiences. A second essay by historian Mabel O. Wilson looks at the representation of black architects and designers and paints a bleaker picture. Remarkably, no black architects or designers were represented in the Department of Architecture and Design's permanent collection until 2016. The remainder of the catalogue illustrates in full color the works of 150 artists drawn from MoMA's collection, accompanied by an essay on each artist's career. Though the catalogue is devoted to the subject of blackness, its authors express the hope that MoMA's future is one where "the black artist is not a special occasion or subject, but just one artist among others." Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. --Paula Ann Mohr, independent scholar


Library Journal Review

English (curator, New York's Museum of Modern Art [MoMA]) put considerable effort into this massive book project, with selected artwork and thoughtful essays, to address the museum's racist past. The lengthy opening essay is a critical examination of MoMA's history of collecting and exhibiting black artists, beginning in 1934--the first showing of a black American artist--and considers how the art world perceived race over roughly 80 years. In a shorter essay, Mabel O. Wilson (architecture, African American & diaspora studies, Columbia Univ.) focuses on the lack of diversity in MoMA's exhibitions of architecture and design. The book includes color images of nearly 200 works from the museum's collection, almost all by black artists; a brief essay on each work weighs the racial and cultural significance of the artwork. Commissioned authors include MoMA curators, artists, and other scholars; an index allows readers to search by author. VERDICT Fans, students, and scholars of art, art history, museum studies, and black studies will learn something new from this important text.--Shannon Marie Robinson, Drexel Univ. Libs., Philadelphia