Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Exhibitions

Social Studies: Eight Artists Address Brown v. Board of Education
  • Social Studies: Eight Artists Address Brown v. Board of Education
  • 09-Oct-2004 - 05-Dec-2004
  • North Balcony and South Balcony, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Multimedia
Description

Fifty years ago the United States changed for the better when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously to outlaw racial segregation in the nation's public schools. The Brown v. the Board of Education decision marked a major step toward a more equitable and integrated educational system, but the problems it sought to address and the debates it raised continue to this day. In order to commemorate the decision and explore its continuing relevance, Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign organized Social Studies: Eight Artists Address Brown v. Board of Education. Exhibition curator David O'Brien, associate professor of art history at UIUC, brings together the visual viewpoints of eight important contemporary artists on the 50th anniversary of the landmark school desegregation case. The traveling exhibition, which opens at the Spencer Oct. 9 in the North and South Balcony galleries, will remain on view through Dec. 5. Participating artists are Dawoud Bey, Sanford Biggers, Brett Cook-Dizney, Virgil Marti, Gary Simmons, Carrie Mae Weems, Pamela Vander Zwan, and Jennifer Zackin. All of the artists have a history of producing art that deals directly with pressing social issues in American society--gender, class, race, and politics. Highlighting themes of desegregation, education, and inclusiveness, the work in the exhibition draws attention not only to the historical court decision but also provokes viewers to meditate on issues of identity, tolerance and integration as they relate to education today. This is done through a variety of media, including photography, flocked wallpaper and multi-media installation. This is the third exhibition organized by Social Studies Projects, a non-profit organization under the direction of Carrie Mae Weems that seeks to address important social and political issues through visual art. One of the leading artists working in the United States today, Weems is best known for her thoughtful and provocative meditations on race and African-American experience.

Organized by Social Studies Projects, a non-profit organization under the direction of Carrie Mae Weems. Susan Earle, curator of European and American art, organized the showing at the Spencer. Social Studies: Eight Artists Address Brown v. Board of Education is made possible in part with the support of the Peter Norton Family Foundation.


Social Studies: Eight Artists Address Brown v. Board of Education is organized by Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This exhibition was made possible in part with the support of the Peter Norton Family Foundation. Programming for the Spencer Museum of Art venue is supported in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
This exhibition brings together eight important contemporary artists to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case. The participating artists Dawoud Bey, Sanford Biggers, Brett Cook-Dizney, Virgil Marti, Gary Simmons, Carrie Mae Weems, Pamela Vander Zwan, and Jennifer Zackin have a history of producing art that deals directly with gender, class, race, and politics. The exhibition not only draws attention to the historical court decision, but also provokes viewers to meditate on issues of identity, tolerance, and integration as they relate to education today.

Attendance: 6,122