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Charles White: A Retrospective

October 07, 2018 – January 13, 2019

The Museum of Modern Art

Floor Three, The Edward Steichen Galleries

The Museum of Modern Art’s Charles White: A Retrospective, on view from October 7, 2018, through January 13, 2019, is the first major exhibition dedicated to Charles White (1918–1979) in over three decades. Organized chronologically, the retrospective charts the entirety of White’s career, illuminating his socially motivated responses to the tumultuous events and cultural episodes that defined 20th-century American history. The exhibition’s roughly 100 drawings, paintings, and prints, along with additional ephemera, attest to White’s continually developing body of work, and serve as a model for the active role art can play in contemporary society. Charles White: A Retrospective is organized by Esther Adler, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, MoMA; and Sarah Kelly Oehler, Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition was on view at The Art Institute of Chicago from June 8 through September 3, 2018, and following its MoMA presentation it will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where it will be on view from February 17 through June 9, 2019.

The exhibition is supported at The Museum of Modern Art and at the Art Institute of Chicago by the Terra Foundation for American Art with The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

Major support for the New York presentation is provided by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Generous funding is provided by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Images

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Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Paul Robeson (Study for Contribution of the Negro to Democracy in America). 1942-43. Carbon pencil over charcoal, with additions and corrections in white gouache, and border in carbon pencil, on cream drawing board. 24 7/8 × 19 1/16″ (63.2 × 48.4 cm). Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, Kathleen Compton Sherrerd Fund for Acquisitions in American Art. © The Charles White Archives/ Art Resource, NY

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Work (Young Worker). 1953. Wolff crayon and charcoal on illustration board, 44 × 28″ (111.8 × 71.1 cm). Private collection. Photo: Christopher Burke Studio © The Charles White Archives/ Charles White (American, 1918-1979).

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Love Letter II. 1977. Color lithograph, 30 1/8 × 22 7/16″ (76.5 × 57 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Margaret Fisher Fund. © The Charles White Archives/ © The Art Institute of Chicago

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Hope for the Future. 1945. Lithograph, composition: 13 3/16 x 10 11/16″ (33.5 x 27.2 cm); sheet: 18 7/8 x 12 11/16″ (48 x 32.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, John B. Turner Fund. © The Charles White Archives/ Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/ Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). J’Accuse #7. 1966. Charcoal on paper, 39 1/4 × 51 1/2″ (99.7 × 130.8 cm). Private collection. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Soldier. 1944. Tempera on Masonite. 30 × 25″ (76.2 × 63.5 cm). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra. © The Charles White Archives/ © Courtesy of the Huntington Art Collections, San Marino, California

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Ye Shall Inherit the Earth. 1953. Charcoal on paper, 36 x 26″ (99.1 x 66 cm). Private Collection. © The Charles White Archives/ Courtesy Princeton University Art Museum

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Sojourner Truth and Booker T. Washington (Study for Contribution of the Negro to Democracy in America). 1943. Pencil on illustration board.  37 × 27 9/16″ (94 × 70 cm). Collection of the Newark Museum, Purchase 1944 Sophronia Anderson Bequest Fund. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Our Land. 1951. Egg tempera on panel, 24 x 20″ (61 x 50.8 cm). Private Collection. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo: Gavin Ashworth. Courtesy Jonathan Boos

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Love Letter III. 1977. Color lithograph. 30 1/16 x 22 5/8″ (76.3 x 57.4 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago. Margaret Fisher Fund. © The Charles White Archives/ © The Art Institute of Chicago

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Harriet. 1972. Oil on board. 53 5/16 × 47 1/4″ (135.4 × 120 cm). John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo: Paul Bardagjy

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Headlines. 1944. Ink, gouache, and newspaper on board, 20 x 16″ (50.8 x 40.6 cm). Collection of William M. and Elisabeth M. Landes. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo: Gregory R. Staley

Charles White. Sound of Silence. 1978. Printed by David Panosh, Published by Hand Graphics, Ltd. Color lithograph on paper. 25 1/8 × 35 5/16″ (63.8 × 89.7 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago. Margaret Fisher Fund. © 1978 The Charles White Archives.

Charles White. Harvest Talk. 1953. Charcoal, Wolff’s carbon drawing pencil, and graphite, with stumping and erasing on ivory wood pulp laminate board. 26 × 39 1/16″ (66 × 99.2 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago. Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman. © 1953 The Charles White Archives.

Charles White. Preacher. 1940. Tempera on board. 30 × 21 1/2″ (76.2 × 54.6 cm) The Davidsons, Los Angeles, California. © 1940 The Charles White Archives
Photo Credit: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California.

Charles White. Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man). 1973. Oil wash on board. 60 × 43 7/8″ (152.4 × 111.4 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Richard S. Zeisler Bequest (by
exchange), The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art, Committee on Drawings Fund, Dian Woodner, and Agnes Gund. © 1973 The Charles White Archives. Photo Credit: Jonathan Muzikar, The Museum of Modern Art Imaging Services

Charles White. Folksinger. 1957. Ink on board. 52 × 34″ (132.1 × 86.4 cm) Collection Pamela and Harry Belafonte © 1957 The Charles White Archives. Photo Credit: Christopher Burke Studios

Charles White (American, 1918-1979). Five Great American Negroes. 1939. Oil on canvas, 60 x 155″ (152.4 x 393.7 cm). From the Collection of the Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.© The Charles White Archives/ Photo: Gregory R. Staley

Charles White (American, 1918–1979). General Moses (Harriet Tubman). 1965. Ink on paper, 47 × 68″ (119.4 × 172.7 cm). Private collection. © The Charles White Archives. Photo courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Installation view of the exhibition Charles White: A Retrospective. October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Robert Gerhardt.

Videos

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