Kerry James Marshall, Souvenir II, 1997

Past Is Prologue: History in Contemporary Art

Apr. 16, 2022 to
Jul. 31, 2022
Whether photographing historic sites, adopting imagery from art history and print media, or citing specific historical events or figures, the works in this exhibition illuminate previously obscured narratives to reveal personal and shared connections between the complex past of the United States and its cultural and political present.​

​The artists assembled in this exhibition mine the past, using American history and the history of art of the western world to explore issues of gender, identity, memory, race, and truth. With paintings, prints, sculptures, and photographs drawn from the permanent collection, this show includes works by Sandow Birk, Nicholas Galanin, Sally Mann, Kerry James Marshall, Cara Romero, Yinka Shonibare, and Kara Walker, ​among others. Whether photographing historic sites, adopting imagery from art history and print media, or citing specific historical events or figures, they illuminate previously obscured narratives to reveal personal and shared connections between the complex past of the United States and its cultural and political present.​

Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the Mollie Bennett Lupe and Garland M. Lasater Exhibition Fund.

Related Exhibition Materials

Press release

Promise and Reality of the American Experiment Explored This April in Exhibitions of Contemporary and 19th-Century Art

Digital portfolio

See the works included in the exhibition

virtual tour

Virtual Tour by Dongcheng Han