Drawn from the acclaimed Rubell Family Collection, “30 Americans” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Missouri) presents American experiences as told from the distinct perspectives of 30 African American artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Carrie Mae Weems, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, Rashid Johnson, Kara Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.
Through more than 80 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and videos, the influential artists in “30 Americans” are significant contributors to the complex dialogues surrounding race, history, identity, and beauty that have shaped contemporary American art and life for the past four decades.
Although it has traveled the country for a decade in various iterations, “30 Americans” is tailored to be a unique experience at each venue. Based on our communities’ histories and in relation to ever-evolving contemporary conversations, the exhibition and its robust accompanying programming will reverberate throughout Kansas City and the region, making “30 Americans” fresh, powerful, and as relevant as ever. Art will be a catalyst for community and conversation.
The project as a whole is a reflection of a deep collaboration between the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and a dedicated community advisory group for whose valuable voices and contributions the museum is most grateful.