’30 Americans’ Display Features African American Art in New Britain

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave and Kehinde Wiley are superstars in the American and international art worlds.

Now, their work and more is on display as part of an extraordinary exhibition in New Britain.

“30 Americans” opened June 17 at the New Britain Museum of American Art. It showcases the work of 30 African American artists with national names, some of whom called Connecticut home.   

Museum associate curator Lisa Williams said the NBMAA worked for years to bring “30 Americans” into Connecticut. The collection is on loan from the Rubell Museum in Miami.

“This exhibition really supports our mission, our initiative to bring greater diversity to our galleries here at the NBMAA,” Williams said.

The museum also brought in three guest curators to help select pieces for the exhibition and set its theme and intention.

“We want our galleries to reflect our population, our community. And we have visitors of all ages, all backgrounds, so we need the art to reflect that as well,” Williams said.

Also included in the exhibit, superstar painter and photographer Barkley Hendricks of New London. Hendricks passed away in 2017.

“30 Americans” is already welcoming a steady stream of people excited to see these works that have never been displayed together in New England.

The museum is hoping as many people as possible will come to experience this collection of masterpieces that tell a very unique American story.

“Students, adults, seniors, come and see this show. I think you’ll leave inspired. I think you’ll leave with new ideas and new questions,” Williams said.

The NBMAA has created a series of public events for the community to come to the museum and experience “30 Americans” firsthand. See the full schedule by clicking here.

“30 Americans” is on display until Oct. 30.

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