The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

In recent decades, the exhibition and collection program has been particularly enhanced by the display and acquisition of works by artists from Africa and the African diaspora, including solo exhibitions by artists Malick Sidibé and Gordon Parks and acquisitions of works by African American artists of the 19th through 21st centuries, and by African artists living in the United States and Europe. The collection now includes examples of these efforts, such as a significant landscape painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner, a large-scale abstract composition by Al Loving Jr., a series of 5 photogravures by Kara Walker, a suite of 12 prints by Wangechi Mutu, and numerous works of photography by contemporary African American artists. The Art Center has continued to present compelling works relevant to the Black experience.

Visible Bodies: Representing Blackness

Fred Wilson (American, b. 1954) X, 2005
Fred Wilson (American, b. 1954) X, 2005

Drawn from the Loeb’s permanent collection, an exhibition titled Visible Bodies: Representing Blackness on view during the 2020-2021 academic year exemplified the creative use of photography by Black American artists to resist colonization, inequality, disenfranchisement, and brutality.

Quiet as It's Kept: Passing Subjects, Contested Identities

Martine Gutierrez (American b. 1989) Clubbing (film still), 2012

The 2019 exhibition Quiet as It’s Kept: Passing Subjects, Contested Identities presented works by seven contemporary artists alongside historical examples of art’s engagement with the complex topic of “passing,” providing an opportunity to rethink identity categories that have long been naturalized or taken for granted.

Reflections: Portrayals of and by African Americans

A selection of 30 works by African American artists, most of which were acquired in the last decade, were on view in the Focus Gallery in an exhibition titled Reflections: Portrayals of and by African Americans from April 10–Aug 19, 2018.

The following images are some of the works displayed in the aforementioned exhibition.