Special Exhibition
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983
Mar 23 - Sep 01, 2019


Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists made over two decades, beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement. Soul of a Nation explores how social justice movements, as well as stylistic evolutions in visual art (such as Minimalism and abstraction), were powerfully expressed in the work of artists including Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams. Los Angeles-based artists appear throughout Soul of a Nation, and more deeply in three specific galleries, foregrounding the significant role of Los Angeles in the art and history of the civil rights movement and the subsequent activist era, and the critical influence and sustained originality of the city’s artists, many of whom have lacked wider recognition.

Featuring the work of more than 60 influential artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.


  • July & August – All day every Thursday: Receive free walk-up access to Soul of a Nation every Thursday until August 29. Last entry is at 7 p.m. Join The Broad's free gallery talks on Thursdays that offer unique perspectives on the art, artists, and era of Soul of a Nation from some of the gallerists and cultural leaders who were working during the 1960s through the early 1980s, community activists organizing today in South Los Angeles, and emerging artists who have been influenced by the artists featured in Soul of a Nation. The series was co-curated in part by The Southern California Library. For more information, visit our Events page.
  • Family Weekend Workshops: Families attending these free workshops on May 4-5 and June 8-9 will receive free access to Soul of a Nation with their Family Weekend Workshop wristbands. At the workshops, families will have the opportunity to make their own souvenirs to take home, inspired by works in the Broad collection and in Soul of a NationReserve free advance tickets for your family to guarantee entrance into the event. Walk-up entries available on a first-come, first-served basis. Family Weekend Workshops are for families with children ages 3 and up.
  • Free school visits: Students in grades 6-12 can visit Soul of a Nation for free through The Broad's Art+Story and Art+Rhyme programs, which helps children explore art through creative writing and poetry. For information on how to bring school groups to The Broad, or how to bring your youth group to The Broad during the summer, please check the School Visits page
This exhibition is organized by Tate Modern, London in collaboration with The Broad, Los Angeles, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas and Brooklyn Museum, New York. Curated by Mark Godfrey, Senior Curator, International Art and Zoe Whitley, Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The Broad presentation is curated by Sarah Loyer, Associate Curator and Exhibitions Manager.

Image Credit: Barbara Jones-Hogu, Unite, 1971. Screenprint. © Barbara Jones-Hogu

Highlighted Artwork

A Boy in front of the Loew’s 125th Street Movie Theater
Dawoud Bey
1976, printed by 1979
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
20 7/8 x 18 7/8 x 1 1/4 in.
Black Unity (detail)
Elizabeth Catlett
21 in. × 12 1/2 in. × 23 in.
Couple walking
Roy DeCarava
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
27.9 x 35.6 in.
Mississippi freedom marcher, Washington D.C.
Roy DeCarava
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Wives of Sango
Jeff Donaldson
Paint, foil, and ink on cardboard
36 1/4 x 25 9/16 in.
Black First, America Second
David Hammons
Body print and screenprint on paper
104.8 x 79.4 in.
Barbara Jones-Hogu
Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free
Carolyn Lawrence
Acrylic on canvas
49 x 51 x 2 in.
Rainbow Mojo
Betye Saar
Acrylic painting on cut leather
19 3/4 x 49 3/4 in.


It's an absolute honor to have been asked to curate a playlist in connection with Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, “which shines a light on the art created by African Americans during a revolutionary two decades in American history, beginning at the height of the civil rights movement.” You've got to know where you come from, in order to get where you want to go, and without that knowledge, we are in danger of repeating history: and I don't mean the good parts. I hope you enjoy these incredibly rich and beautiful creations by some of the artists who paved the way!Quincy Jones

Music has always been a driving vehicle of change in the struggle for equality since the early civil rights and Black Power movements of the ‘60s and ‘70’s. It provided inspiration to the visual artists in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983. In celebration of this landmark exhibition, The Broad asked the legendary Quincy Jones to curate a playlist that gives voice to the struggle for equality and the passion, anger, and hope for a new America.


Please visit our Press page for press releases and to register for a newsroom account to access high res images of the exhibition and the museum.

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