on view: kerry james marshall on museums

Kerry James Marshall | Untitled (Altgeld Gardens), 1995. Photo courtesy of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

Kerry James Marshall is one of my favorite artists. His work directly challenges assumptions about the artistic representation of African-Americans and he’s not afraid to talk about the elephants in the room. In this excerpt from his 2001 Art21 feature, he  discusses the racism inherent in how most major museums purchase, organize and display their collections, and the damage inflicted by leaving certain groups out of the art historical narrative. Considering the recent article, “Diversify or Die: Why the Art World Needs to Keep Up With Our Changing Society”, Mr. Marshall’s words are quite prophetic.