Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Broad Presents the West Coast Debut of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

soul of a nation - the broad

*LOS ANGELES In celebration of the West Coast debut of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983, the internationally acclaimed exhibition that celebrates the work of more than 60 Black artists made over two decades, beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement, The Broad museum will host a dynamic weekend of opening events.

The museum, which attracted a record 815,000 visitors in 2018 (The Broad’s highest annual attendance in its three-year history), will host a star-studded opening party to kick off the weekend on Friday, March 22 from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

The honorary host committee for the opening party includes: Angela Bassett (Black Panther) and Courtney B. Vance (Ben is Back, Isle of Dogs), artist Mark Bradford, Morgan DeBaun (founder and CEO, Blavity Inc.), Anna Deavere Smith (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, black-ish), Ava DuVernay (The Red Line, When They See Us fka Central Park Five), Mellody Hobson (president, Ariel Investments), Quincy Jones (film, TV and music producer), Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles Lawson (founders, WACO Theater Center), Justin Simien (Dear White People), and Darren Walker (president, Ford Foundation). Soul of a Nation features more than 200 artworks by artists including Romare Bearden, Barkley L. Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams.

On Soul of a Nation’s opening day on Saturday, March 23, The Broad will present a day of enriching conversations, artist talks and poetry, organized by UC Irvine professors Bridget R. Cooks (associate professor, African American Studies and Art History) and Frank B. Wilderson III (chair of African American Studies). The event will include compelling conversations between artists featured in the exhibition, such as Jae and Wadsworth Jarrell and Gerald Williams with Vida L. Brown (visual arts curator, California African American Museum) and Mel Edwards with Dale Davis (artist and co-founder, Brockman Gallery), facilitated by Isabelle Lutterodt (director, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery), as well as renowned art historians and curators like Thelma Golden (director and chief curator, The Studio Museum), Phyllis J. Jackson (associate professor, art history, Pomona College), Kellie Jones (professor, art history and archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University), and Naima J. Keith (deputy director and chief curator, California African American Museum).

A reading will be given by distinguished poet Kamau Daáood, author of The Language of Saxophones: Selected Poems of Kamau Daáood and the critically acclaimed album, Leimert Park. Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, will speak in conversation with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Tickets for the program are available at, and include one-time, anytime access to Soul of a Nation.

Following opening day, The Broad will host a conversation with the organizing curators of Soul of a Nation, Tate Modern’s Mark Godfrey (senior curator, international art) and Zoe Whitley (curator, international art) on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. Whitley and Godfrey will provide insights into the selection of artists in the galleries and the themes of the show, including questions of what it meant to be a Black artist during the time period and collective art making practices as alternatives to institutions.

Tickets can be purchased in advance on The Broad’s website at, and same-day standby tickets are also available for purchase onsite each day the museum is open. Tickets to the Soul of a Nation exhibition are:

  • $18 for adults
  • $12 for students (with valid student ID)
  • Free for children 17 and under
  • All exhibition tickets include same-day general admission access to The Broad’s third floor galleries, which feature a frequently changing selection of works from the Broad collection, one of the world’s leading collections of postwar and contemporary art

In addition, The Broad is offering free admission to Soul of a Nation every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. (last entry at 7 p.m.) during the exhibition’s run. Families attending The Broad’s Family Weekend Workshops in May and June will receive complimentary access to Soul of a Nation. From February through May, the museum will host dozens of school groups in grades 6-12 for free through its Art+Story and Art+Rhyme programs, which helps children creatively explore art through writing, expression and poetry. For information on how to bring school groups to The Broad, visit

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Art and Politics: Soul of a Nation Symposium

Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m.

Tickets: $20 adults; $15 student (with valid student ID); tickets include one-time, anytime access to Soul of a Nation during normal museum hours

Location: Aratani Theatre, 244 San Pedro St., Los Angeles, 90012

Tickets include one-time, anytime access to Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983



10:05-10:30 a.m. – Introductory Remarks

  • 10:05-10:10 – Welcome, Joanne Heyler, Founding Director, The Broad
  • 10:10-10:20 – Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 Organizing Curators
  • 10:20-10:30 – Bridget R. Cooks and Frank B. Wilderson III: Introduction to the Symposium


10:35AM-11:50 a.m. – Panel 1: The Politics of Black Exhibitions (1-hour conversation / 15 min Q&A)

  • Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Kellie Jones, Professor, Art and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University
  • Naima J. Keith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, California African American Museum
  • Facilitator: Bridget R. Cooks, Associate Professor, African American Studies and Art History, UC Irvine


11:55 a.m.-12:40 p.m. – Panel 2: AfriCOBRA Artists


  • Soul of a Nation artists Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, and Gerald Williams
  • Facilitator: Vida L. Brown, Visual Arts Curator, California African American Museum


12:40-2:10PM – Lunch

2:10-3 p.m. – Conversation

  • Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
  • Ava DuVernay, Filmmaker

3:05-3:50 p.m. – Conversation

  • Mel Edwards, Soul of a Nation artist
  • Dale Davis, Artist and Co-Founder, Brockman Gallery
  • Facilitator: Isabelle Lutterodt, Director, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery

3:55-4:55 p.m. – Panel 3: Black Power and Politics (45 min conversation / 15 min Q&A)

  • Frank B. Wilderson III, Professor and Chair of African American Studies, UC Irvine
  • Phyllis J. Jackson, Professor, Art History, Pomona College

5:00-5:20 p.m. – Poetry Reading

  • Kamau Daáood, Performance poet, artist, and community activist

5:25-5:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks

  • Bridget R. Cooks and Frank B. Wilderson III




Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

March 23-Sept. 1, 2019

Tickets: $18 adult, $12 student (with valid ID), free for children 17 and under

​Location: The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012

Soul of a Nation examines the influences, from the civil rights and Black Power movements to Minimalism and developments in abstraction, on artists such as Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White and William T. Williams.

Los Angeles-based artists appear throughout Soul of a Nation, and more deeply in three specific galleries, foregrounding the significant role of Los Angeles in the art and history of the civil rights movement and the subsequent activist era, and the critical influence and sustained originality of the city’s artists, many of whom have lacked wider recognition.

The work of pioneering Los Angeles artist Betye Saar is explored in a gallery that recreates a portion of the artist’s first survey exhibition in 1973 at California State University, Los Angeles. Another gallery examines the unique approaches to the graphic image by Charles White, David Hammons and Timothy Washington, focusing on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 1971 exhibition Three Graphic Artists that featured these artists, and which came out of the activist efforts of the Black Arts Council, an organization founded in 1968 by Cecil Fergerson and Claude Book, who were Black art preparators who worked at LACMA, to advocate for African American artists and to support their community. The Broad’s presentation includes additional works by Hammons and White, on view for the first time in this touring exhibition, including Hammons’ Spade (Power for the Spade), 1969 and The Door (Admissions Office), 1969, and White’s J’Accuse! No. 5, 1966.

The aftermath of the Watts Rebellion and its impact on the assemblage movement is explored in a gallery featuring the work of Melvin Edwards, Daniel LaRue Johnson, John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, John T. Riddle and Saar. The Broad has expanded the gallery to include three additional works by Riddle and Johnson, adding depth to the display. Two of the pieces are Johnson’s early assemblage works, Dolless Hour, 1962 and The Big N, 1963, which emphasize the artist’s contributions during his formative years in Los Angeles.

The Broad is the only United States exhibition venue to show two important works from Tate Modern’s originating presentation: Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People – Bobby Seale), 1969 by Hendricks and Watts Riot, 1966 by Purifoy. Watts Riot is on loan to The Broad from the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, the largest institutional lender to The Broad’s presentation with seven loans. In addition, The Broad will also be the only United States venue to show works by Hammons and Saar that will be seen for the first time since the exhibition originated at Tate Modern, including Hammons’ Injustice Case, 1971 and Saar’s I’ve Got Rhythm, 1972. Injustice Case, 1971 is on loan from LACMA, where it was on view as part of the Three Graphic Artists exhibition and was a central image in the 1971 exhibition’s brochure.

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.

This exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London in collaboration with The Broad, Los Angeles, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas and Brooklyn Museum, New York. Curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art and Zoe Whitley, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The Broad presentation is curated by Sarah Loyer, Associate Curator and Exhibitions Manager.



Time is Running Out of Time: Experimental Film and Video from the L.A. Rebellion and Today

Feb. 2-Sept. 14, 2019

Tickets: Free

Location: Art + Practice, 3401 W. 43rd Place, Los Angeles, 90008

In association with Soul of a Nation, Art + Practice and The Broad will present Time is Running Out of Time: Experimental Film and Video from the L.A. Rebellion and Today at Art + Practice in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. The exhibition presents early short works of Black filmmakers and video artists in Los Angeles in dialogue with works from following generations. Across generations, themes include the robust representation of communities, families, and lineages and the complexities of identities informed by social and political realities. Curated by The Broad’s Jheanelle Brown, programs manager, and Sarah Loyer, associate curator and exhibitions manager, the exhibition recognizes the vital work and deep influence of the L.A. Rebellion filmmakers, offering Los Angeles audiences a fuller understanding of the era addressed by Soul of a Nation. For more information, visit

This exhibition is presented by Art + Practice in collaboration with The Broad, and is curated by The Broad’s Jheanelle Brown, Programs Manager and Sarah Loyer, Associate Curator and Exhibitions Manager.

Image Credits: (clockwise from top left): David Hammons, Black First, American Second, 1970. © David Hammons; Barbara Jones-Hogu, Unite (First State), 1969. © Barbara Jones-Hogu; Roy DeCarava, Mississippi freedom marcher, Washington, D.C., 1963. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper. Courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives. © Roy DeCarava; Barkley L. Hendricks, Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People – Bobby Seale), 1969. © Barkley L Hendricks; courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Elizabeth Catlett, Black Unity, 1968. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2014.11. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.


About The Broad

The Broad is a contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the museum offers free general admission and presents an active program of rotating temporary exhibitions and innovative audience engagement. The Broad is home to 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide, and welcomes more than 800,000 visitors a year.

The 120,000-square-foot building features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library, which has been loaning collection works to museums around the world since 1984. Generous support is provided by Leading Partner East West Bank.

For more information on The Broad and to sign up for updates, please visit





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