An important and original contribution to the study of the history of American art museums and American culture. . . . Cooks not only demonstrates her thesis but also develops a useful perspective for studying the history of the deeply troubled relationship between African Americans and American art museums. --Alan Wallach
One of the pleasures of reading Exhibiting Blackness is that it holds previous curators and administrators to account, and invites a critical methodological approach that is refreshing in a field that tends to be overly cautious and conservative. --Jennifer A. Gonzalez
Exhibiting Blackness grants readers an understanding of the history of exhibitions of art by Amrican Americans, but also of the cultural anxieties and misperceptions that have surrounded them. Recommended. --Choice
In Professor Cooks' lengthy discussion of the many issues surrounding [the Harlem on My Mind art exhibit], she manages to touch on all the many issues facing black visual artists: Are they artists first, or black first? Should their work speak to what being black in a racist society means, or should it speak to more personal demons? And, most importantly, do these one-time exhibitions just give the white world a chance to say, look what we did for you in 1969, with no intention of having black artists shown again in the art institutions they control. --New World Review
About the Author
Bridget R. Cooks is associate professor of art history, African American studies, and visual studies at the University of California Irvine.