There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art

Museum of Art Museum of Art

Exhibition: There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art

Dates:

Location:

Halford Gallery, Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery
"There Is a Woman in Every Color" examines the representation of Black women over the past two centuries.

a print showing two heads on the left and a vertical row of colorful figures on the right

Want to learn more? Explore the online component of the exhibition

This online supplement for There is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art is intended as a companion to the exhibition in the galleries at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Developed by the curator of the exhibition, Elizabeth S. Humphrey ’14, you will find additional educational materials to further engage with works presented in the exhibition.

This exhibition travels to the following institutions:

Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota: August 30 through December 18, 2022

El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas: February 3 through May 14, 2023

Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas: July 13 through October 15, 2023

Selected Works

A head and shoulders portrait of a woman

Portait of a Biracial Woman, 18th century, pastel on paper laid down on canvas, by Descamps de la Talaire, French, active in Paris, ca. 1760. Museum Purchase, Lloyd and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund.  Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

A portrait of a woman in a black dress and a lace cap

Mrs. Nancy Lawson, 1843, oil on canvas by William Matthew Prior. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont

A page from an old book with writing and an illustration with trees

Narrative of Phebe Ann Jacobs, or, “Happy Phebe” / by Mrs. T.C. Upham, Imprint: New York: American Tract Society, [185-?], book; 8 p.; 18 cm. Courtesy the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

a sepia photograph showing a seated woman in a shawl in a long dress

Sojourner Truth with Flowers, CDV, 1864, albumen silver print by an unidentified American photographer. Museum Purchase, James Phinney Baxter Fund. Courtesy Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

A bronze bust of a youth with a cap on his head

Gamin, ca. 1930, painted plaster by Augusta Savage, American, 1892–1962. Gift of halley k harrisburg, Bowdoin Class of 1990, and Michael Rosenfeld. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

an abstract painting in shades of pink

Double Cherry Blossoms, 1973, acrylic on canvas, by Alma Thomas. Gift of halley k harrisburg, Class of 1990, and Michael Rosenfeld, Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

a print showing two heads on the left and a vertical row of colorful figures on the right

There is a Woman in Every Color, color linoleum cut, screen-print, and woodcut by Elizabeth Catlett. Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund, Bowdoin College Museum of Art. © 2021 Catlett Mora Family Trust / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo by Luc Demers.

A drawing in bright colors showing women and a quilt, with a figure of Van Gogh on the right.  The background is sunflowers.
The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, 1996, lithograph by Faith Ringgold, American, born 1930. Gift of Julie L. McGee, Class of 1982.

About

There Is a Woman in Every Color examines the representation of Black women over the past two centuries. The exhibition brings together more than sixty works of art, objects, and artist books to challenge histories of marginalization and to make visible the presence of women of color in American art history. It pairs historical and contemporary works to offer nuanced and multifaceted perspectives on the experiences of Black women in the United States. Inspired by works in the BCMA’s permanent collection, the exhibition also provides an opportunity to place art by Black women in conversation with one another, showcasing their exploration of personhood, issues of identity, and resistance to certain modes or representation or classification. Selected artists include Edmonia Lewis, Elizabeth Catlett, Alma Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas, Ja’Tovia Gary, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Nyeema Morgan.

Lectures

Discussion with the "Black Lady Art Group"

The Black Lady Art Group was created at Bowdoin College as an artist collective focused on creating a safe space for producing and exploring artistic practices as Black women. Founders Amie Sillah ’20, Amani Hite ’20, and Destiny Kearney ’21, join in a discussion moderated by Elizabeth S. Humphrey ’14 to learn about their respective practices, the artist collective, and challenges facing Black women artists today.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “There is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art” on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art from September 16, 2021 through January 30, 2022. Recorded on November 3, 2021.

Curator’s Tour: “There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art”

Elizabeth S. Humphrey ’14 , curator of the exhibition and PhD. Student, Art History, University of Delaware, provides commentary on “There is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art,” an exhibition examining the representation of Black women in the United States over the past two centuries. The exhibition is on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art from September 16, 2021 through January 30, 2022.

This was filmed on September 25, 2021, when Elizabeth S. Humphrey visited campus to give an in-person tour of the exhibition.

BCMA curatorial assistant and manager of student programs, Elizabeth Humphrey ’14, previews the upcoming exhibition There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art in a conversation with Ramiro Storni ‘23. The exhibition brings together more than fifty works of art to challenge histories of marginalization and make visible the presence of Black women in American art history.

Presented by the  Bowdoin College Office of Alumni Relations and recorded on March 5, 2021.