MoAD Past Exhibitions

Engage Your Heritage.

July 3, 2009 – September 26, 2009

This summer, MoAD invites you to join us in weaving the fabric of our growing museum by participating in our exciting new interactive third-floor gallery exhibition Engage Your Heritage, July 3 — September 26. Featuring activities and events for the entire family.

We want to hear your voices and know your stories. What is your heritage? Take advantage of the I’ve Known Rivers installation, where we invite you to share your family’s stories with us. In addition, MoAD is offering you the opportunity to have your family narrative recorded for future use in up-coming installations. Recording sessions will take place Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons between 2:30 and 4:00 PM.

Also featured is the expanded Heritage Center, with family-friendly activities throughout the day. Every Thursday and Saturday afternoon, join us from 2:00-3:30 PM for family-friendly art projects. Wednesday and Friday afternoons all our younger visitors are invited to a storytelling event from 2:00-2:45, featuring a diverse array of storybooks from the Heritage Center Library (which also features fascinating books for all ages).

At the heart of this exciting new interactive exhibition is our African Film Series, featuring acclaimed works of cinema from over fifteen African countries. Every two weeks we will feature a series of three related films. Films “on demand” are available at our cozy two-person viewing stations, as well as a feature film showing in the main gallery.

Showtimes are 11:45 AM, 1:45 PM, and 4:00 PM.


Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits

April 4, 2009 – June 14, 2009

“Let your Motto be resistance! Resistance! RESISTANCE! No opposed people have ever secured Liberty without resistance” — abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet, 1843

Garnet’s words have found their way into the title — and the essence — of the inaugural exhibition of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Presented by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits” opens at MoAD on April 4 and will be on view until June 14, 2009. The exhibition consists of 70 modern prints selected from the National Portrait Gallery’s collections highlighting 150 years of African American resistance in the U.S.

In the context of photographs, resistance took many forms. Working with a growing circle of African American intellectuals and professionals, photographers often challenged the prevailing view of blacks as intellectually and socially inferior. Dramatic images of labor leader A. Philip Randolph (1948) and activist Malcolm X (1963) spotlight those who confronted racism and social injustice head-on. Other highlights include images of boxing legend Joe Louis (c. 1935), Josef Breitenbach’s image of singer Sarah Vaughan (1950), Dan Weiner’s photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. (1956) and Irving Penn’s image of opera icon Jessye Norman (1983).

“Let Your Motto Be Resistance” was organized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery and the International Center of Photography in New York and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

The exhibition, national tour and catalog were made possible by a generous grant from lead sponsor MetLife Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Let Your Motto Be Resistance” is based on the exhibition of the same name that featured 100 original photographs, and was presented at the International Center of Photography (May 11 - Sept. 9, 2007) and the National Portrait Gallery (Oct. 9, 2007 — Mar. 2, 2008).

MetLife Foundation


American Icons: Bay Area

April 4, 2009 – September 26, 2009

“American Icons: Bay Area” honors the accomplishments of two legendary San Franciscans: Willie Mays and Willie Brown. Through excellence and perseverance, Willie Mays and Willie Brown resisted the status quo, broke records and shattered stereotypes.

Willie Mays, centerfielder for the Giants for 20 years, broke records in hits and homeruns, played in 24 All Star games, and is considered by many to be the greatest all-around player of all time.

Willie Brown became the first African American and longest serving Speaker of the Assembly in California state history. Then during his two terms as Mayor of San Francisco, Brown renovated public transportation, revitalized urban development, and built the Giants current stadium.

Although their accomplishments are recognized nationally, the influence of both men is most resonant in San Francisco.


Decoding Identity: I Do it for My People

January 23, 2009 – March 22, 2009

Forging a personal identity gives rise to a unique voice that transcends stereotypical barriers. The works of 20 diverse artists challenge cultural and ethnic prejudices and question issues of religion, sexuality, race, and gender. Ultimately, Decoding Identity heals the dynamic tension between individual and collective identities.

Includes works by: Lorraine Bonner, Ed and Linda Calhoun, Christopher Carter, Lalla Essaydi, John Yoyogi Fortes, Chaz Guest, David Huffman, Clint Imboden, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Annette Lawrence, Kelly Marshall, Wardell Milan, Ramekon O'Arwisters, Adrienne Pao, Jefferson Pinder, Dario Posada, Danny Ramirez, Manuel Rios, Blue Wade, and David Yun


The Hewitt Collection of African American Art

October 16, 2008 – January 11, 2009

Bank of America presents The Hewitt Collection of African American Art. The Hewitt Collection - fifty-eight works assembled over a half-century, from 1949 to 1998, by John and Vivian Hewitt - is one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of African American art. The exhibition offers not only important twentieth-century art but also a survey of African-American culture and society.

The exhibition includes works by Romare Bearden, regarded as one of the greatest American artists of his generation, and Henry Ossawa Tanner, one of the first African American artists to achieve acclaim in both America and Europe. Contemporary artists are also represented, among them Jonathan Green, a 1980's graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.