Previous Exibitions

Previous Exhibitions

Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello

March 12, 2019 - June 22, 2019

How could the author of the Declaration of Independence own slaves? How could twenty percent of the population of the new United States, founded on the principles of liberty and equality, be forced to live in bondage? What was life like for enslaved people in the early republic? Who was Sally Hemmings? This exhibition uses Monticello as a lens through which to examine these questions. Click here to read more » 


Music and Saints: The Art of Jerome Wright

July 13, 2018 – April 7, 2019

In this exhibition, Music and Saints, Jerome Wright features 19 new works that capture spirituality in various forms, from religious worship to music. Wright is a prolific artist, musician, and dancer who works primarily with oil pastels... Click here to read more »


Oh, You Fancy! Black Hair & Fashion

June 29, 2018 – February 28, 2019

Featuring more than 20 fashion designers and 11 hair stylists, Oh You Fancy! provides a brief history of African American designing, creating, and influencing fashion wear and hairstyles, both nationally and internationally...  Click here to read more »



Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul

September 25, 2018 – January 21, 2019

Aretha Franklin—The Queen of Soul! Described by many as family oriented, very private, a Diva, hard working, shy, down to earth, business savvy, and a singing-songwriting genius. In short, she was an enigma. The whole world was on a first name basis with her. We all called her Aretha...Click here to read more »



Leni Sinclair

The Music and the Times: Photographs by Leni Sinclair

October 18, 2016 - September 20, 2018 

Leni Sinclair is a renowned visual historian, photographer, social and political activist. Beginning in the 1960s, she documented live performances of legendary American and world musicians, especially those that performed in Detroit, Michigan. Through her work she has amassed an amazing collection of images that reflect the superb talent and artistry found in live musical performances... Click here to read more »



i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls...

January 15 - April 27, 2018

i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls... curated by Peter “Souleo” Wright, celebrates the genre-bending, award-winning choreopoem/play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, which debuted on Broadway in 1976. Presented in the exhibition are 10 commissioned artworks that are a tribute to the Broadway play. Each work honors an individual poem and underscores their enduring significance in highlighting issues impacting the lives of women of color... Click here to read more »

Spirits and Symbols: The Art of Haiti

November 2, 2017 - March 18, 2018

The name says it all — Spirits and Symbols: The Art of Haiti. Rich culture blended of many influences, mostly forced upon by Europeans, has shaped the resilience of Haitian people. Religion, worship and spirituality have been the pinnacle of hope within the country and can be seen through the works on display in this exhibition... Click here to read more »

Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion

July 23, 2017 - January 2, 2018

Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion, is an exhibition that commemorates the 1960s rebellions, observes the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion, and compares the uprisings of the past to the upheavals that shocked our nation in the 21st century. Outside, part one surveys the Detroit Rebellion. Inside, part two features 40 national artists, whose works illustrate tragedy and transformation when people rebel... Click here to read more »

Bent, But Unbroken

July 28, 2017 - October 29, 2017

Bent, but Unbroken, is an exhibition celebrating the resilience of women. The art in this exhibition depicts the way women have remained unbroken throughout the trials of history. From enslavement to segregation, witch hunts to honor killings, women have fought back, and have remained standing throughout the atrocities of time... Click here to read more »

Transitions of Walter Bailey: An Artist's Retrospective

January 14 - July 23, 2017

Transitions of Walter Bailey: An Artist's Retrospective features 50 years of Bailey's artwork from the 1950's to the present. Divided into four sections, the exhibition begins with early-childhood pencil drawings, his black expressionism work, "experimental era," and ends with his current "Art Ain't Flat No Mo" work. Bailey says, "My next transition will reflect (my) desire to explore new themes, styles, and genres for the next tumultuous decade"... Click here to read more »

I See Me: Reflections in Black Dolls

September 20, 2016 - June 25, 2017

Designed for family enjoyment and doll collectors’ amazement, the exhibition features an array of black dolls dating from the late 19th century to the present, including babies, fashion dolls, hand-crafted, art dolls, and more. A play area, replete with a range of dolls mimicking the exhibition, provides hands-on fun and wonder for visitors. While the exhibition draws from the museum’s collections, it also presents a large selection of intriguing and historically significant dolls loaned by local and national doll collectors... Click here to read more »

Shaping the Vessel: Mascoll + Samuel

February 1 - June 25, 2017

This exhibition of twenty-six exquisite works in wood celebrates two artists at the pinnacle of their careers – John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel – whose first tool, a wood lathe given to the world by the ancient Egyptians, has served as a springboard to imagination, flights of fancy, and ingenuity. Just as Michelangelo freed David from a block of marble, Mascoll and Samuel ponder nature’s beauty, seeking what lies within each gift of wood. Each artist uses an ancient tool to shape the vessel, yet much of the design, execution, and signature work is accomplished after the turned vessel is removed from the lathe... Click here to read more »

Collect: The Power of Knowing

Collect: The Power of Knowing

October 31, 2015 - January 16, 2017

Curated by Dr. Cledie Collins Taylor, Collect: The Power of Knowing honors art collectors who have preserved and shown us works that we may not have seen on our own, especially art from the continent of Africa. The works show evidence of our creativity from the distant past to our current times. Included are traditional African pieces like the Mende helmet mask from the Edsel and Shirley Woodson Reid Collection, new schools of art from Africa — that are not about tradition but about expression — such as Prince Twins Seven-Seven’s painting from the collection of Modell Cheatham... Click here to read more »

Empirical / Satirical

Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Exhibition

November 4, 2016 - January 8, 2017

The Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Exhibition is a national search, in the form of a competition, to find the next big name in visual arts. Created in partnership with Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation the Artisan Series offers under represented artists a national platform to showcase their work.... Click here to read more »

Empirical / Satirical

The Heart of Identity

August 4 - October 30, 2016

The Heart of Identity features the photography and mixed media artwork of Ackeem Salmon. In this exhibit, Ackeem unpacks the many layers of his own identity, as well as the complexities and expectations of social identity. The Heart of Identity signifies the minds and spirits that make each of us unique. Through his art, Ackeem Salmon questions why society tries to control peoples' identities - the way we think about ourselves, and others... Click here to read more »


Samella Lewis: An American Art Icon

April 28 - September 18, 2016

How does one earn the title “American Art Icon?” To achieve such an honor, we have only to look at the life and accomplishments of Samella Lewis, Ph.D., whose influence on African American art and culture has been so immense that her impact is yet to be determined. During her long and still active career, she has worked as an artist, art historian, educator, scholar, author, publisher, filmmaker, museum founder, art administrator, curator, gallerist, art collector, wife, mother, and much more.... Click here to read more »

In the Paint

In the Paint: Art, Athletics & the Spirit of the Games

June 2 - September 4, 2016

For the first four decades of competition, starting in 1912, the modern Olympics awarded official medals for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, and music. Juries awarded a total of 151 medals for original works between 1912 and 1948. The idea, taken from the Greek concept of the true Olympian, originated with the founder of the International Olympic Committee Pierre de Coubertin who believed that the summation of athletics and arts embodied humanity. Click here to read more »

Empirical / Satirical

Empirical / Satirical: The Art of Cedric Henry and Byron Reed

April 7 - July 31, 2016

The Wright Museum is proud to present its newest contemporary artists exhibition, Empirical / Satirical: The Art of Cedric Henry and Byron Reed. Empirical / Satirical features the work of cartoonist, Cedric Henry, and painter, Byron Reed, who both use the empirical evidence of their observations, as well as satire, to explore the politics and day-to-day life of their communities. Satire is the use of humor or sarcasm to mock or convey contempt for an establishment, tradition, or way of life... Click here to read more »

No Boundaries

No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting

January 17 - May 15, 2016

The rise of the Aboriginal Australian art movement in the early 1970s ushered in an artistic revolution. As the twenty-first century approached, Aboriginal artists across the continent began transforming their traditional iconographies into more abstract styles of art making. Speaking across cultures, without sacrificing their distinctive identities, they found new ways to express the power of the ancestral narratives of the Dreaming. Drawn from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl, No Boundaries features the work of nine trailblazing artists who were at the forefront of the movement... Click here to read more »


I, Charles H. Wright: My Story

March 10, 2015 - April 15, 2016

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is this exhibition centered on the life of the man who started it: Charles Howard Wright, M.D. (1919-2002). A great physician, an intellectual of incredible insight, and a man of solemn dedication to his community, through words and images, documents and objects, the exhibition summarizes his expansive legacy... Click here to read more »


Postmarked: The African American Stamp on History

December 15, 2015 - April 3, 2016

Created from the Black Heritage Stamp Series, a collection generously donated by the United States Postal Service, Postmarked features commemorative stamps as a way of telling stories. The Black Heritage Stamp Series is the longest running postal series of its kind, and one of the most popular philately ventures the Postal Service has ever undertaken. Featuring African Americans who have made important achievements in a variety of areas such as science, music, medicine, athletics, and civil rights, the series' stamps and their accompanying biographies chronicle the multifaceted lives of these extraordinary people... Click here to read more »

Inspiring Beauty

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

September 18, 2015 - January 3, 2016

This first-ever exhibition on the Ebony Fashion Fair explores the 50-year history of the fashion spectacle that redefined the concepts of beauty, style, and empowerment for black Americans. At the center of Inspiring Beauty are the stunning gowns, feathered coats, and designs displayed on fully stylized mannequins to create the runway experience, and selected from a collection of the more than 7,000 that Fashion Fair founder Eunice W. Johnson amassed from designers such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, Bob Mackie, Nina Ricci, and Vivienne Westwood... Click here to read more »


Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series 2015

September 17 - December 13, 2015

The Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series, now in its sixth year, is an annual competition co-presented by Bombay Sapphire® and Russell and Danny Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The goal of the series is to provide exposure for artists of nearly all visual mediums, allowing them to compete for the chance to have their work showcased at the grand finale event during SCOPE Miami Beach. One artist will receive a grand prize solo exhibit at SCOPE NYC. The top three winning artists from the finale will receive a stipends... Click here to read more »


The Nataki Way: 36th Anniversary of the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit

November 8, 2014 - October 11, 2015

Carmen and George N'Namdi founded the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit (NTSD) as a private school in 1978 to honor the memory of their fourteen-month-old daughter, Nataki Talibah N'Namdi, who died in 1974. The names Nataki and Talibah are from central Africa. Nataki (Nah-TAH-kee) means of high birth and Talibah (Tah-LEE-bah) means seeker after knowledge. Thus the school's name is both an important tribute as well as an expression of aspiration... Click here to read more »

Finding Mona Lisa

Finding Mona Lisa 313

May 29 - September 13, 2015

"Finding Mona Lisa: Urban Students Become Global Scholars" is a program providing travel and cultural development opportunities for Detroit youth. Artist, educator, and entrepreneur Jocelyn Rainey founded the program in 2007 with a maiden voyage to Paris, France, accompanied by 5 students. Since then she has made subsequent journeys all across the world. This exhibition provides a photographic presentation of the travels of Ms. Rainey and her students to five countries: France (2007), Spain (2008), Japan (2009), Egypt (2010), and Costa Rica (2011)... Click here to read more »

Shadow Matter

Shadow Matter: The Rhythm of Structure – Afro Futurism to Afro Surrealism

January 19 - August 30, 2015

This one-man show features works by New York sculptor and Inkster, Michigan-native M. Scott Johnson. Scott’s education as a sculptor began in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where he studied traditional and contemporary stone sculpting under master sculptor, national hero and elder statesman of Zimbabwe stone sculpture Nicholas Mukomberanwa (1940 - 2002). Driven to comprehend new relationships between rhythm and line in the African Diaspora, Scott’s work has also been strongly influenced by African American techno music, Ndyuka and Saramaka graphic art forms, Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, and Makonde sculpture... Click here to read more »


Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist

September 11 - May 24, 2015

This exhibition honors Detroit native Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts, a visual and performance artist who creates powerful works of art in several genres including drawings, collages, and prints. He is well known for his collages which incorporate layers of color, juxtapositions of photographs, African symbols, and his special form of writing that reveals strong messages about the love of family and community, strength of character, the need for freedom and justice for all people, and the importance of honoring our ancestors on whose shoulders we stand... Click here to read more »



Ingrid Saunders Jones: 31 Years of Distinguished Service... and Counting

August 9, 2013 - March 1, 2015

Join the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in celebrating the amazing career and achievements of Detroit native Ingrid Saunders Jones, who retired in June 2013 as the Senior Vice President of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation after 31 years of service. This limited-engagement exhibit honors her life as she moves on to its next chapter - as the volunteer national chair of the National Council of Negro Women... Click here to read more »



A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre by Myrna Colley-Lee

July 20, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Curated by Shirley Reiff Howarth, A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre by Myrna Colley-Lee consists of more than 100 original costume designs, and over 80 production photographs, including full scale production images from several productions portraying the black experience from before World War II through the Pulitzer Prize-winning works of August Wilson....Click here to read more »



The Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series 2014

November 7 - December 7, 2014

Bombay Sapphire Gin and the Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation have partnered to present the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series competition and opportunity to help an artist from the United States become the “Next Big Name in Visual Arts,” at SCOPE MIAMI BEACH in Miami Beach, Florida. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is hosting the regional competition for the State of Michigan...Click here to read more »



Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Celebrating a Century of Sisterhood, Scholarship & Service, Presented by the Detroit Alumnae Chapter

April 6, 2013 - October 19, 2014

Twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University founded Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on January 13, 1913, with the objective of using their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The first public act performed by the Delta Founders involved their participation in the Women's Suffrage March in Washington D.C., March 1913... Click here to read more »



Black WOMEN Rock 2014: The Exhibition!

April 17 - August 31, 2014

In 2004, nationally renowned poet jessica Care moore founded the highly acclaimed annual concert, Black Women Rock!, in Atlanta, Georgia, at the National Black Arts Festival. She dedicated the concert to the late rock and roll artist, Betty Davis, who never received acclaim as an early woman rocker - but nevertheless maintained her passion, power, and persistence in the music genre she loved. Now in its tenth year, BWR continues to celebrate women who dare to rock-and-roll, and also recognizes artists in other art genres, such as those in the visual arts...Click here to read more »



Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963

May 17 - June 27, 2014

This national traveling exhibition explores the relationship between two great people's movements for equal rights: the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in 1963. Both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. One hundred years separate them yet they are linked in the larger story of a struggle for liberty which brought together different races, classes and ideologies...Click here to read more »


Clark TheRunner-bug

Point of View: African American Art Masters from the Elliot and Kimberly Perry Collection

January 20 - April 13, 2014

Point of View is the main title for two exhibitions and a catalogue, all drawn from the impressive African American and African Diaspora art collection of Elliot and Kimberly Perry. The exhibitions and catalogue are the result of a three-way partnership between Elliot and Kimberly Perry, the Flint Institute of Arts, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Each has a distinct subtitle...Click here to read more »



Works of Art by the Wright Angels

December 12, 2013 - March 9, 2014

The Wright Museum has an extraordinary contingent of volunteers who call themselves the Wright Angels. This exhibition, which is named for them, includes works by volunteers Walter Bailey, Lorraine Tyler, Clifford Wade, and Sharon E. Williams-Dean. Also included are interns Chloe Seabrooks-Welk and Shawnda Warren, and staff member Kevin Davidson, the museum's director of design and fabrication...Click here to read more »



Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil

August 15, 2013 - January 5, 2014

The first major traveling exhibition of popular art from northeastern Brazil, Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints includes nearly 200 works of art by more than 50 artists, and tells the story of how African, European, and indigenous cultural traditions have interacted over a period of more than 500 years to form the distinctive culture of this fascinating area of the largest country in South America... Click here to read more »



The Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series at The Wright Museum

October 25 - December 8, 2013

Detroit area artists submitted 147 works of art to the annual Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series competition, 24 pieces of which were selected for inclusion in this exhibition, which includes works of emerging, experienced, and master artists such as Clifford Wade, Valencia Brockington, Lobyn Hamilton, Raymond Wells, Desiree Kelly, and Allie McGhee. One artist from the exhibition and two from the online competition will be selected to travel, along with his or her art, to Art Basel in Miami, Florida... Click here to read more »



Inspiration Through Art: Works by Darold Gholston and Henry T. Heading

July 25 - October 13, 2013

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Contemporary Artists Program is pleased to present the works of Metro Detroit artists, Darold Gholston and Henry T. Heading whose artistic renderings speak to contemporary realism—their perceptions about the beauty of life and the realities of the modern age. Gholston and Heading’s universal themes touch upon timeless beauty and offer reflections of social values and inspirations of life through art... Click here to read more »



Visions of Our 44th President

September 20, 2012 - July 31, 2013

Visions of Our 44th President, a groundbreaking, collective art exhibit, was created to honor and celebrate the significance of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama.  Forty-four busts was created from a model that served as a blank canvas, giving each of forty-four contemporary artists from across the country free reign to creatively interpret this milestone in American history... Click here to read more »


The Chris Webber Collection: Exceptional People During Extraordinary Times, 1755 - Present

The Chris Webber Collection: Exceptional People During Extraordinary Times, 1755 - Present

April 7, 2011 - July 31, 2013

Chris Webber, Detroit native, National Basketball Association All-Star player (retired) and NBA announcer, collects rare artifacts that illuminate the lives and legacies of African American greats such as Phillis Wheatley, the first African American author; Rosa Parks, mother of the modern civil rights movement; civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and many others. Initially, the items were for Webber's personal inspiration... Click here to read more »



Complex Movements' Beware of the Dandelions (Work-In-Progress)

June 14 - July 14, 2013

Complex Movements' Beware of the Dandelions (work-in-progress) is a 30 minute multi-media performance and installation about transformation and social justice movements as complex systems. Inspired by Grace Lee Boggs and decentralized community-led social justice movements in Detroit and beyond, the journey provokes audience members to explore the premise that change occurs through critical connections rather than critical mass. Through non linear narrative, interactive hip-hop performance, video projection and creative technologies, the installation explores the relationship between art, science and social justice movements... Click here to read more »



Size Matters: Large-Scale Paintings from the Collections of the Charles H. Wright Museum

January 11 - May 17, 2013

Size Matters presents fifteen contemporary large-scale paintings by twelve artists from diverse genres. The title is a double entendre that suggests two meanings: the significance of size and the problems associated with it.  In the visual arts, size is concerned with scale and proportion. On one hand, scale refers to the size of a whole object in relationship to another whole object. In experiencing the scale of an artwork, we tend to compare its size to that of our bodies... Click here to read more »



Pathways to Freedom in the Americas: Shared Experiences between Michigan and Mexico

November 16, 2012 - March 31, 2013

Pathways to Freedom in the Americas is an exhibition inspired by the meeting of two women who became fast friends - Patricia Ann Talley, an African American from the United States of America, and Candelaria Donají Méndez Tello, an Afro-Mexican from Mexico (the United Mexican States).  Through their discussions, they learned about the parallel histories of their ancestors who were brought to the Americas via the trans Atlantic slave trade.... Click here to read more »



A Very Present Force: Celebrating a Century of the Detroit Branch NAACP

November 14, 2012 - March 24, 2013

The Detroit Branch NAACP has long been a trailblazing civil rights organization. Since its formation in 1912 - only three years after the founding of the national association - the Detroit Branch NAACP has been on the frontlines of civil rights activism and advocacy, both locally and throughout the nation. A Very Present Force celebrates this sustained and important century-long struggle for equal opportunity and social justice... Click here to read more »



Moving to His Own Beat - Fela: The Man, The Movement, The Music

January 13, 2012 - March 17, 2013

Created in partnership with Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts to prelude the arrival of the Broadway smash musical, Fela!, this exhibition celebrates the life and music of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a dynamic figure who transcended the boundaries of political expectation and culturally coerced standards of morality. His undying passion for African peoples, understanding of the power of art and politics, and unyielding struggle against the colonial forces in Nigeria during the 1950s and 1960s... Click here to read more »



Great American Artists - Part III: The Seeds

September 6, 2012 - January 6, 2013

This yearlong exhibition features the works of a consortium of Detroit artists in a three-part series subtitled, "Roots, Branches, and Seeds." During the past several years, each artist has collaborated to complete a portrait of a group member and to document each other’s studio processes, techniques and themes. This cooperative provides the group a means of documenting and preserving each artist’s image and their careers.  Exhibiting third are Sydney G. James, Mario Moore and Endia Beal who form the “Seeds” of the group... Click here to read more »



Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney

June 14 - September 9, 2012

Experience the art of Jerry Pinkney, a master of the American picture book whose powerful, heart-warming stories reflect personal and cultural themes, and explore the African-American experience in words and pictures. This exhibition, celebrating an artistic journey that has continued for 50 years, offers memorable perspectives on life's small but extraordinary moments and on significant historical events that are brought into focus through his art... Click here to read more »



Great American Artists - Part II: The Branches

May 3 - September 2, 2012

This yearlong exhibition features the works of a consortium of Detroit artists in a three-part series subtitled, "Roots, Branches, and Seeds." During the past several years, each artist has collaborated to complete a portrait of a group member and to document each other’s studio processes, techniques and themes. This cooperative provides the group a means of documenting and preserving each artist’s image and their careers.  Exhibiting second are Christopher Batten, Halima Cassels and Senghor Reid who form the “Branches” of the group... Click here to read more »



The King Center Imaging Project

August 14 - 19, 2012

The King Center Imaging Project was initiated at the request of the King Center, which asked JPMorgan Chase to use its technological expertise and financial resources to digitize Dr. Martin Luther King’s archives and help make them available to new generations of people across the globe. To commemorate the archive, JPMorgan Chase has created a traveling exhibit that has been touring the nation... Click here to read more »



Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, Social and Political in African American Art

February 3 - June 3, 2012

Organized and sponsored by Bank of America, Mixing Metaphors is an exhibition composed of more than 90 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media works by 36 artists including Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. The exhibition draws its inspiration from the different artists' visions and their use of technique to convey compelling stories. Click here to read more »



Great American Artists - Part I: The Roots

January 12 - April 29, 2012

Subtitled "Roots, Branches, and Seeds," Great American Artists is a yearlong exhibition of new figurative works by artists Christopher Batten, Endia Beal, Halima Cassells, Alonzo Edwards, Sydney James, Gregory Johnson, Richard Lewis, Mario Moore, Sabrina Nelson and Senghor Reid. Click here to read more »



We Don't Want Them: A History of Detroit's Housing Segregation

February 1 - 27, 2012

This traveling exhibit showcasing the history of housing segregation in Detroit provides a powerful backdrop for local dialogue on issues of difference, structural discrimination and immigration. Through reproductions of historic documents and photographs, viewers will learn about the causes and effects of residential segregation.  Click here to read more »


Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts

Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts

June 16, 2011 - January 16, 2012

Dance Theatre of Harlem has made history in the 40 years since Arthur Mitchell and the late Karel Shook founded it in 1969. This multimedia exhibit captures the majesty of the choreography, the beauty of the costuming, the dancers who defied gravity and stereotyping, plus Mitchell's wide-ranging accomplishments. Click here to read more »



Perceptions: The Art of Barbara Brown King and Carole Morisseau

September 1, 2011 - January 8, 2012

This exhibition features the work of two extraordinary, multifaceted women who are career artists based in Detroit, Michigan. Barbara Brown King's and Carole Morisseau's works of art are presented together in this exhibition because of their natural proclivity to observe and record their perceptions of life in paint. Click here to read more »


The Heidelberg Project: Art, Energy, and Community

Heidelberg 25

March 31 - December 31, 2011

The Heidelberg Project, founded by artist Tyree Guyton and using art to "provoke thought, promote discussion, inspire action and heal communities..." is recognized as one of the most influential open-air art environments in the world. Guyton uses found objects to create a two-block area full of color symbolism, and intrigue. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Project is recognized internationally as a demonstration of how creativity can transform lives. Click here to read more »



The Test: Tuskegee Airmen Project

November 18, 2010 - August 28, 2011

The Test" is an exhibition about the first African American aviators in the U.S. Military in combat in World War Two. The aviators were part of an effort by the War Department to determine if African-Americans had the capabilities to be effective combat aviators. This became known as the "Tuskegee Experiment". In early 1943, the first squadron of black aviators deployed to North Africa to enter combat and to begin critical the test phrase of the "Tuskegee Experiment"... Click here to read more »


Eyes on Africa and the African Diaspora: The Photography of Asha Walidah and Bill Gosa

Eyes on Africa and the African Diaspora: The Photography of Asha Walidah and Bill Gosa

April 21 - August 28, 2011

This exhibition features the work of Asha Walidah and Bill Gosa, fine art photographers who travel the world capturing stunning images that reflect people of African descent in Africa and in the western hemisphere. Walidah's and Gosa's separate odysseys have taken them to countries in Africa, islands in the Caribbean, and cities in the United States. Click here to read more »


Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise: An Artist's Journey

Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise: An Artist's Journey

January 17 - May 29, 2011

In Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise: An Artist's Journey, Gale Fulton Ross utilizes a multifaceted approach to describe her journey from confusion and despair to self-forgiveness, enlightenment, and artistic freedom. Her first-person visual narrative is loosely based on Dante's Divine Comedy, an epic poem written in the 12th century. Like the protagonist in Dante's poem, trusted historical luminaries, Aunt Jemima and Sojourner Truth, guide Ross through the inferno of Hell, the misery of Purgatory, and the ecstasy of Paradise. Click here to read more »



Framed Stories: The Art of Carmen Cartiness Johnson and Jerome Wright

December 17, 2010 - April 11, 2011

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Contemporary Artists Program is pleased to present the Framed Stories of Carmen Johnson, currently living in Antonio, Texas and Jerome Wright, currently living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The artists were paired together in this two-person exhibition because they have several artistic similarities: they are largely self-trained, they enjoy creating narrative art, and they demonstrate postmodern sensibilities. Click here to read more »



Crowning Glories: Status, Style, and Self-Expression

January 18, 2010 - March 13, 2011

Crowning Glories is a tribute to the beauty, style, and self-expression of black women, and a historical survey of their hat-wearing traditions from the late 1700s to the present. The tradition of African American women adorning themselves with extraordinary headwear goes back generations. Wrapping one's head with cloth, for example, finds its roots among West African women. This practice, which survived the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, continues to be part of black women's cultural heritage in the United States and throughout the Americas... Click here to read more »



Art of the Masters: A Survey of African American Images, 1980 - 2000

September 24, 2010 - March 13, 2011

Organized by The Michigan Chapter of the National Conference of Artists, Art of the Masters: A Survey of African American Images is presented in accordance with the mission and traditions of the NCA — to introduce the works of African American "Master" artists to the world. Included are works of art created by those who made significant contributions to the discipline from 1980-2000. Click here to read more »


THEM: Images of Separation

THEM: Images of Separation

February 21 - March 5, 2011

THEM: Images of Separation is a traveling exhibition showcasing items from popular culture used to stereotype different groups. The negative imagery - found on postcards, license plates, games, souvenirs and costumes - promoted stereotyping against such groups as Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and poor whites, as well as those who are "other" in terms of body type or sexual orientation. Through 35 separate framed pieces (some with multiple items, such as postcards), "THEM" tackles some of the most contentious, cultural hot-button issues: anti-Arab sentiment, Holocaust denial, "don't ask, don't tell" and immigration. Click here to read more »



Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment

October 1, 2010 - January 2, 2011

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Harlem's Apollo Theater the Smithsonian presents Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment. The exhibition traces the evolution of the Apollo—from its origins as a segregated burlesque hall to its starring role at the epicenter of African American entertainment and American popular culture. Click here to read more »



Celebrating Figurative Art: The Works of Mychael Shane, Zeina Carla Washington, and Denemours L. Lockeet

April 16 - August 22, 2010

The works of art created by the artists featured in Celebrating the Figure are strikingly different from each other in several ways. Each artist has his or her own style, medium, and palette. Mychael Shane is a scratchboard artist who uses a multiplicity of lines to create stark black and white images. Zeina Carla Washington is a mixed-media artist whose paintings are created with vibrant colors. Illustration artist, Denemours L. Lockeet, uses pencils to create... Click here to read more »



Portrayals of Life and Landscapes: The Art of Frank Kelley, Jr.

August 27 - December 12, 2010

Organized by the Contemporary Artist Program of the Charles H. Wright Museum, Portrayals of Life and Landscapes: The Art of Frank Kelley, Jr. features more than 30 of Kelley's paintings. His art incorporates numerous styles and subjects. Primarily a regional painter, he draws upon sources from his roots in North Central Louisiana. The people, places, and events that he experienced while growing up in this culturally rich area.... Click here to read more »



Joe Louis: Hometown Hero

August 6, 2009 - September 15, 2010

This comprehensive exhibition on the life of an iconic Detroit native is a must for sports fans everywhere. Born the son of an Alabama cotton picker, Joe Louis, known to many as the African American heavyweight champion named the "Brown Bomber," became a national hero and symbol of American democracy versus Nazi intolerance. Muhammad Ali said of Joe Louis, "I just give lip service to being the greatest. He was the greatest." The sportswriter, Jimmy Cannon, summed the Brown Bomber up best when he wrote; "He was a credit to his race – the human race." Click here to read more »



Who Am I? My DNA Diary

November 15, 2009 - September 9, 2010

Who Am I? My DNA Diary is an exhibition of National Geographic and IBM's Genographic Project in tandem with Lucy, The Story of Human Origins from the International Museum Institute of New York. This double feature challenges preexisting notions of race and ethnicity by showing that the more we understand "the collective journey of humankind, the more likely we are to see each other as members of the same extended family." Click here to read more »


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