Among Others: Blackness at MoMA

Museum of Modern Art. Aug. 2019. 488p. ed. by ed. by Darby English & Charlotte Barat. ISBN 9781633450349. $65. FINE ARTS
English (curator, New York’s Museum of Modern Art [MoMA]) put considerable effort into this massive book project, with selected artwork and thoughtful essays, to address the museum’s racist past. The lengthy opening essay is a critical examination of MoMA’s history of collecting and exhibiting black artists, beginning in 1934—the first showing of a black American artist—and considers how the art world perceived race over roughly 80 years. In a shorter essay, Mabel O. Wilson (architecture, African American & diaspora studies, Columbia Univ.) focuses on the lack of diversity in MoMA’s exhibitions of architecture and design. The book includes color images of nearly 200 works from the museum’s collection, almost all by black artists; a brief essay on each work weighs the racial and cultural significance of the artwork. Commissioned authors include MoMA curators, artists, and other scholars; an index allows readers to search by author.
VERDICT Fans, students, and scholars of art, art history, museum studies, and black studies will learn something new from this important text.Höfer, Candida
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing