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Getty | The Soul of a Nation Reader: Writings by & about Black American Artists, 1960–80

September 9, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Register in advance for this online event: https://gty.art/3jhHIcr
What is “Black art”? Between 1960 and 1980, artists, curators and critics in the United States repeatedly asked this question in response to the social and political upheavals embodied by radical voices such as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. Their diverse perspectives were published in national newspapers, museum catalogs, and one-off pamphlets, prompting a lively public debate.
The Soul of a Nation Reader collects over 200 of these rare and out-of-print writings, offering a powerful record of the positions taken by figures including Amiri Baraka, Frank Bowling, David Hammons, Elizabeth Catlett, and Linda Goode-Bryant. In this conversation with moderator LeRonn P. Brooks, the book’s editors Mark Godfrey and Allie Biswas discuss various dimensions of this cultural dialogue, while highlighting specific texts. Six years in the making, this landmark anthology provides access to these important materials for the first time.
Allie Biswas is a writer and researcher based in London. She has published on artists including Wolfgang Tillmans, Julie Mehretu, Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Rina Banerjee, Meleko Mokgosi and Zanele Muholi. Recent projects include a catalogue about the U.S. Embassy’s art collection in London and an essay on Arcmanoro Niles.
Dr. Mark Godfrey is a curator and art historian based in London. In 2017, he co-curated, with Zoe Whitley, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. Forthcoming shows include Anicka Yi at Tate Modern and Jacqueline Humphries at the Wexner. Forthcoming publications include essays on Kevin Beasley and Firelei Baez.
LeRonn P. Brooks is associate curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute. He has recently published in BOMB Magazine, Callaloo, and International Review of African American Art, and on behalf of organizations such as the Studio Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, and Aperture Foundation.
This program is part of the Art History in the Making series, which brings artists, critics, curators, and scholars together to explore how both the creative practice of art-making and new discoveries in art history are provoking new questions and redefining the frontiers of the field.
The conversation will be available on the Getty Research Institute YouTube channel following the event.