This anthology of essays on nearly 200 works in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York is the first substantial exploration of MoMA’s uneven historical relationship with black artists, black audiences, and the subject of racial blackness. Addressing these subjects through the consideration of works produced either by black artists or in response to race-related subjects, Among Others confronts two kinds of truth: one plainly factual, the other moral. The book is equal parts historical investigation and truth-telling about the Museum’s role in the history of the cultural politics of race.
The volume begins with two historical essays: one, by Darby English and Charlotte Barat, traces the history of MoMA’s encounters with racial blackness since its founding—from an early commitment to African art and solo exhibitions devoted to the work of artists such as William Edmondson and Jacob Lawrence in the 1930s and 1940s to its activities during the Civil Rights Movement to the controversial Primitivism show of 1984 and beyond; a second, by Mabel O. Wilson, an architectural historian at Columbia University, scrutinizes the Museum’s record in collecting the work of black architects and designers.
Following these essays are nearly 200 plates, each accompanied by an essay by one of over 100 authors hailing from a range of fields. Contributing authors include: Margaret Aldredge-Diamond, Sean Anderson, Carol Armstrong, Julie Ault, Dawoud Bey, Gregg Bordowitz, Jessica Bell Brown, Linda Goode Bryant, Kaira M. Cabañas, Roberto Conduru, Lynne Cooke, John Corbett, Douglas Crimp, Tom Crow, Edwidge Danticat, J. Michael Dash, Samuel R. Delany, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Adrienne Edwards, Diana Fuss, Samba Gadjigo, Ellen Gallagher, Robert Gober, Rachel Haidu, Irena Haiduk, Claudrena N. Harold, Phillip Brian Harper, Harmony Holiday, Matthew Jesse Jackson, Bouchra Khalili, Byron Kim, Michelle Kuo, Glenn Ligon, Cara Manes, Kerry James Marshall, Courtney J. Martin, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Mia Matthias, Kobena Mercer, Carmen Merport, Richard Meyer, Fred Moten, Tavia Nyong'o, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Luis Pérez-Oramas, Paulina Pobocha, Ross Posnock, Richard J. Powell, Martin Puryear, Yasmil Raymond, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Schlenzka, Christina Sharpe, Lowery Stokes Sims, Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Greg Tate, Phil Taylor, Hervé Télémaque, Ann Temkin, Akili Tommasino, Luc Tuymans, Anne Umland, Susan Vogel, Anne M. Wagner, Hamza Walker, Kara Walker, Kenneth W. Warren, Deborah Willis, Sharon Willis, Leslie Wilson, Mabel O. Wilson, Edith Wolfe, and Sebastian Zeidler, among others.