Soul of a Nation Curator Conversation
The Broad presents a conversation, facilitated by Bridget R. Cooks (associate professor, African American history and art history, UC Irvine), with the organizing curators of Soul of a Nation, Tate Modern’s Mark Godfrey (senior curator, international art) and Zoe Whitley (curator, international art). Whitley and Godfrey will provide insights into the selection of artists in the galleries and the themes of the show, including questions of what it meant to be a Black artist during the time period and collective art making practices as alternatives to institutions.
Tickets include one-time, anytime access to Soul of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983.
Mark Godfrey is Senior Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, London, where he co-curated the exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power with Zoe Whitley (Curator, International Art). He formerly held the post of lecturer in History and Theory of Art at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. He has written exhibition catalogue essays on the work of Tacita Dean, Matthew Buckingham, Sharon Lockhart, Fiona Tan, and Eva Hesse, and a survey essay for the Phaidon monograph on Anri Sala. He has curated exhibitions for Catherine Yass, Douglas Huebler and Matthew Buckingham.
Zoe Whitley, PhD is Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, London. Previously, she served as Tate’s curator of contemporary British art. At Tate, she co-curated the exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power with Mark Godfrey (Senior Curator, International Art). At The Studio Museum in Harlem, she co-organized an Afrofuturism exhibition called The Shadows Took Shape with Naima J. Keith. From 2005-13, Whitley was curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where she authored The Graphic World of Paul Peter Piech and co-authored In Black and White: Prints from Africa and the Diaspora with Gill Saunders. Her work with artists includes serving on the councils for Black Artists & Modernism (BAM) and Prospect 4, the fourth iteration of Prospect New Orleans’ international art exhibition.
Bridget R. Cooks
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. She is also core faculty in the Ph.D. Programs in Visual Studies and Culture and Theory, and the Master’s Program in Critical and Curatorial Studies.
Cooks' research focuses on African American artists, Black visual culture, museum criticism, feminist theory and post-colonial theory. She earned her doctorate in the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester. She has received a number of awards, grants and fellowships for her work including the prestigious James A. Porter & David C. Driskell Book Award in African American Art History, and the Henry Luce Dissertation Fellowship in American Art.
Cooks’ first career was as a museum professional. In this capacity she worked at the Oakland Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has also curated several exhibitions including, The Art of Richard Mayhew at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco (2009-2010); Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California (2018) at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; and the forthcoming Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective (2019) at the California African American Museum (CAAM).
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, Pedagogy, and American Quarterly. She is currently working on her second manuscript titled, A Dream Deferred: Art of the Civil Rights Movement and the Limits of Liberalism.