Drawn from the acclaimed Rubell Family Collection, 30 Americans presents American experiences as told from the distinct perspectives of 30 African American artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Carrie Mae Weems, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, Rashid Johnson, Kara Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.
Through more than 80 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and videos, the influential artists in 30 Americans are significant contributors to the complex dialogues surrounding race, history, identity, and beauty that have shaped contemporary American art and life for the past four decades.
Although it has traveled the country for a decade in various iterations, 30 Americans is tailored to be a unique experience at each venue. Based on our communities’ histories and in relation to ever-evolving contemporary conversations, the exhibition and its robust accompanying programming will reverberate throughout Kansas City and the region, making 30 Americans fresh, powerful, and as relevant as ever. Art will be a catalyst for community and conversation.
The project as a whole is a reflection of a deep collaboration between The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and a dedicated community advisory group for whose valuable voices and contributions the museum is most grateful.
30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami.
Community Advisory Group
To ensure that a multiplicity of voices would inform 30 Americans, community members were invited to join the exhibition planning process. The museum was pleased to welcome both existing and new partners into this dynamic collaboration—one marked by diverse perspectives from a range of ages, racial backgrounds, professions, and personal experiences.
Images:Top: Kehinde Wiley, Sleep, 2008. Oil on canvas, 132 x 300 in. (335.3 x 762 cm). Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Bottom: Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club (Thurgood), 2008. Lambda print, Ed. 2/5, 69 x 55 1/2 inches (175.3 x 141 cm). Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Art © Kehinde Wiley. Mickalene Thomas, Whatever You Want, 2004. Acrylic, rhinestone and enamel on panel, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm). Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Art © Mickalene Thomas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Rozeal, Sacrifice #2: it has to last (after Yoshitoshi’s “Drowsy: the appearance of a harlot of the Meiji era”), 2007. Enamel, acrylic and paper on wooden panel, 52 x 38 inches (132 x 96.5 cm). Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection, Miami. Art © Rozeal.