MFA Collection Books

Common Wealth
Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Lowery Stokes Sims, with contributions by Dennis Carr, Janet L. Comey, Elliot Bostwick Davis, Aiden Faust, Nonie Gadsden, Edmund Barry Gaither, Karen Haas, Erica E. Hirshler, Kelly Hays L'Ecuyer, Taylor L. Poulin, and Karen Quinn
Format Regular Price Member Price
Hardcover $50.00 $45.00

256 pages, 145 color illustrations, 9.5 x 11 in, ISBN: 9780878468157

The story of African Americans in the visual arts has closely paralleled their social, political, and economic aspirations over the last four hundred years. From enslaved craftpersons to contemporary painters, printmakers, and sculptors, they have created a wealth of artistic expression that addresses common experiences, such as exclusion from dominant cultural institutions, and confronts questions of identity and community.

This generously illustrated volume gathers works by leading figures from the nineteenth century to the present—Henry Ossawa Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Lois Mailou Jones, Gordon Parks, Wifredo Lam, Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall—alongside many others who deserve to be better known, including artists from the African diaspora in South America and the Caribbean. Arranged thematically and accompanied by authoritative texts that provide historical and interpretive context, this book invites readers to share in a rich outpouring of art that meets shared challenges with individual creative responses.

About the Author

Lowery Stokes Sims is William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, and former president of the Studio Museum in Harlem, both in New York.