Today, the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) and Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), co-organizers of A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, announced the groundbreaking exhibition will travel to three additional venues on a five-city U.S. tour. The exhibition, with newly commissioned works by 12 of among the most acclaimed artists working today, premiered at the MMA from April 9 to September 11, 2022, before traveling to the BMA, where it is currently on view through January 29, 2023. It then embarks on a national tour to other regions of the U.S. that became destinations for the more than six million African Americans who left the South at the start of the 20th century and well into the 1970s. The subsequent venues and dates are the Brooklyn Museum in New York (March 3–June 25, 2023); California African American Museum in Los Angeles (August 5, 2023–March 3, 2024); and UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in California (Spring 2024). Additional venues to be announced.
Betsy Bradley, MMA Director, said, “During the earliest planning sessions that resulted in A Movement in Every Direction, everyone involved fervently wished that the exhibition would be presented in museums in cities across the country that were pivotal destinations during the Great Migration. The impact of this complex chapter in American history reverberates today. We are delighted that these institutions will showcase the work of these outstanding artists that developed from their individual investigations of their connections to the South.”
“A Movement in Every Direction offers a poignant new lens through which to consider, understand, and learn about the Great Migration, as both a historic happening and subject of contemporary relevance. We are thrilled that audiences across the country will have the opportunity to experience the dynamic and multifaceted work of the 12 featured artists and to connect with their distinct perspectives and narratives. The Great Migration has incredible meaning to many communities and individuals, so it is significant that the exhibition will remain on view for years to come,” said Asma Naeem, BMA Interim Co-Director and Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator.
About the Exhibition
A Movement in Every Direction features newly commissioned works across media by 12 acclaimed Black artists, including Akea Brionne, Mark Bradford, Zoë Charlton, Larry W. Cook, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates Jr., Allison Janae Hamilton, Leslie Hewitt, Steffani Jemison, Robert Pruitt, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, and Carrie Mae Weems. Through the artists’ distinct and dynamic installations, the exhibition reveals anew the spectrum of contexts that shaped the Great Migration and explores the ways in which it continues to reverberate today in both intimate and communal experiences.
A Movement in Every Direction provides a platform for the featured artists to explore, reflect on, and capture their own relationships to this singular historic happening, both personally and artistically. Brought together by co-curators Ryan N. Dennis (she/her), MMA Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum’s Center for Art and Public Exchange, and Jessica Bell Brown (she/her), BMA Curator and Department Head for Contemporary Art, the works offer an insightful rumination on the complexity of the Great Migration as a narrative that is still unfolding. The exhibition showcases an incredible richness of artistic vision and endeavor, with installations ranging widely in conceptual and technical approach and embracing painting, sculpture, drawing, video, sound, and immersive installations.
The exhibition is accompanied by a two-volume publication A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, Volume 1 and 2. The first volume encompasses a critical reader highlighting pivotal scholarly work around aspects of the Great Migration, from the shaping of American cities to its impact on Black spirituality, music, art, food, and culture. The second volume offers a capsule presentation of exhibition content, including curatorial essays, artist entries, and newly commissioned essays by leading scholars Kiese Laymon, Jessica Lynne, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Dr. Willie J. Wright.
The Mississippi Museum of Art received the 2022 Southeastern Museums Conference Gold Award in the $1,000,000 Budget Category in recognition of A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration. The SEMC Exhibition Competition showcases the best in the curatorial profession and provides benchmarks for regional exhibition efforts in southeastern museums.
This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Generous support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art. For more information, visit artbma.org
About the Mississippi Museum of Art
Established in 1911, the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) is dedicated to connecting Mississippi to the world and the power of art to the power of community. The Museum’s permanent collection includes paintings, photography, multimedia works, and sculpture by Mississippi, American, and international artists. The largest art museum in the state, the Mississippi Museum of Art offers a vibrant roster of exhibitions, public programs, artistic and community partnerships, educational initiatives, and opportunities for exchange year-round. Programming is developed inclusively with community involvement to ensure that a diversity of voices and perspectives are represented. Located at 380 South Lamar Street in downtown Jackson, the Museum is committed to honesty, equity, and inclusion. The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the City of Jackson and Visit Jackson. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information, visit msmuseumart.org.
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