Bridget Cooks | Art, Museums, and the Fear of a Black Planet

February 16, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ten years after the publication of her book Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum, scholar and curator Bridget R. Cooks discusses art, museums, and demands for change in the age of Black Lives Matter. She considers the anxieties that Blackness provokes for rethinking art history and museum practices, and explores how artists are already imagining worlds of Black freedom.

Bridget R. Cooks is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and the Department of African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on African American artists, Black visual culture, and museum criticism. Cooks has worked in museum education and has curated several exhibitions including, Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California, (2018) (Pasadena Museum of California Art; Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective at the California African American Museum (2019) (CAAM) and the nationally touring exhibition. The Black Index.

She is author of the book Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011). Some of her other publications can be found in Afterall, Afterimage, American Studies, Aperture, and American Quarterly. She is currently completing her next book titled, Norman Rockwell: The Civil Rights Paintings.

Lois D. Conley, Founder, President, and CEO of the Griot Museum of Black History, was moderator.

This virtual event was cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity and the Department of African and African-American Studies and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM). This talk is presented as an accompaniment to the February 17th event, RE: Ebony and Jet at CAM.