Nasher Museum of Art

An image 'Black Righteous Space' by Hank Willis Thomas
Hank WIllis Thomas

For Hank Willis Thomas , a good photograph is an image that sticks with somebody long after they first see it. As a photographer and conceptual artist, Thomas uses images to critique cultural perceptions about race, gender and class. His Unbranded series removes text from advertisements as way to examine generalizations about black identity and femininity, and his interactive installation Black Righteous Space pairs the colors of the Pan-African flag with the symbolism of the Confederate flag...

Photo of "Black Flag (For Elizabeth’s)," by Skylar Fein
Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The American South is rooted in a complex social, political and cultural history. For some, images of the South include tobacco, barbecue and bluegrass, while others also envision a South forever grappling with a complicated history of racial discrimination. The exhibit " Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art " includes 120 works from 60 artists that challenge myths about the South and explores it's wide range of perspectives. Host Frank Stasio talks with Miranda...

photo of "Woodstock" by Burk Uzzle
Burk Uzzle

Burk Uzzle remembers taking pictures at the bus station when he was just a teenager living in eastern North Carolina. In high school, he worked part-time as a photographer for the News & Observer and eventually became the youngest photographer hired by LIFE magazine. Throughout the years, Uzzle captured iconic images of Martin Luther King Jr . and Woodstock, and his archive now spans six decades and prominently features images of his Southern roots. Uzzle 's work is showcased in three new...

Odili Donald Odita stands in front of his mural, a public art display at the Nasher Museum of Art.
J Caldwell

Duke University’s Nasher Museum opened its doors in the fall of 2005 with a vision for a first-rate museum but without a clear path to get there. Luckily the board hired talented staff, and within a few years they were on their way to becoming an established museum with robust collections of contemporary art and art by people of African descent. For their 10 th anniversary the museum commissioned artist Odili Donald Odita to paint one of their indoor walls and an outdoor wall in downtown...

Rapper interacts with contemporary art
juanobando.com

Colombian artist Juan Obando noticed a disconnect between North Carolina art museums and the communities they serve. In response, he invited local hip-hop artists to create songs that playfully critique contemporary art collections at local museums. The result is Museum Mixtape : a series of music videos shot in art museums, featuring hip-hop artists. Museum Mixtape - Trailer from Juan Obando on Vimeo .

Archibald Motley is one of the most well-known painters of the Harlem Renaissance even though he never lived in Harlem. He spent most of his career documenting the nightlife scene in both Chicago and Paris. Motley's images explode with color. Reds, blues greens. It's almost impossible to look away. Yet his work is not widely available to the public. Many of his most important creations are held in private collections. But now, 42 works from 1919 to 1960 are on display at Duke University's...

The Nasher Museum brings Doris Duke's Islamic art collection in Hawaii to North Carolina.
Doris Duke Foundation

Doris Duke, heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune, built a sprawling estate in Hawaii in the 1930s. She named her secluded getaway Shangri La and she spent the rest of her life filling it with Islamic art. After her death, Shangri La was opened to the public.

Duke.edu

Wangechi Mutu's life-size collages attempt to bring the Black female body to the forefront of her work. It is inspired by the complex power she's seen in women, particularly from her native Kenya. Not only are they enormous, but the figures are also mystical and powerful.

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is the home of a new Matisse exhibit. It focuses on works collected by two sisters from Baltimore. Sarah Schroth is the senior curator and interim director of the Nasher. She says the Cone sisters made many trips to Paris and were friends with Matisse. They also met Picasso in 1905.

Sarah Schroth: He was doing Gertrude Stein's famous portrait and Etta Cone went with Gertrude to Picasso's studio and, you know, it was filthy and a mess, you...

Ai Weiwei is a prominent Chinese contemporary artist who gets press attention for his politics as much as for his art work. He has criticized the Chinese Communist Party for its monopoly of political power in China. He also spoke against how the party handled the 2008 Olympic Games and the earthquake in the Sichuan province. His dissidence has earned him the admiration of international audiences and a prison sentence by the Chinese government. Last autumn, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke...

Take a moment and consider how utterly amazing the mobile is. They hang over babies’ cribs, in classrooms, children’s museums, toy stores and candy shops. The whimsical moving sculptures that transform with the power of wind were invented by Alexander Calder in the 1930s.

Duke's Nasher Art Museum in Durham is combining traditional sculptures with more contemporary pieces at a new exhibit today.

Jeff Tiberii: More than a dozen mobiles from late American sculptor, Alexander Calder will be on display. His works will be complemented by contemporary sculptures from seven other artists. The Nasher's Wendy Hower Livingston says the gallery feels different.

Wendy Hower Livingston: Because of the gentle movement, the colors, the beautiful balancing...

Mary D.B.T Semans
The Duke Endowment

A well-respected civic and philanthropic leader died yesterday in Durham. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great grand-daughter of Washington Duke - for which Duke University is named. Family ties also include The American Tobacco Company and what is known today as Duke Energy. Semans will be remembered for her role in growing the arts in North Carolina, preserving health care for others and her fight for equality for women and African Americans.

Leoneda Inge: Mary Duke Biddle...