The Cooper Gallery

The Cooper Gallery We are a university gallery featuring African and African American contemporary art. The Cooper Gallery is free and open to the Public.
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Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @coopergalleryhc We feature contemporary African and African American art in exhibitions and installations imagined by curators, faculty, artists, and guests; in conversation with diverse cultures, art archives, and historical traditions. Within our new gallery space designed by David Adjaye, our programming offers a myriad of events ranging from: local engagements, workshops, and artist talks; to symposia and lectures. We are a Harvard University Gallery and a part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

Tonight is the last night of our programming series, Concert and Conversation, hosted by Ingrid Monson. Come join us to ...
12/13/2019

Tonight is the last night of our programming series, Concert and Conversation, hosted by Ingrid Monson. Come join us to hear the sounds of Charles Overton and enjoy the stunning art of Frank Stewart on the final day of our exhibition, The Sound of My Soul: Frank Stewart's Life in Jazz!
. . .
Tickets are currently sold out. Please email [email protected], with the names of attendees, in order to join the waitlist.

Coming to the Cooper Gallery January 31st, 2020, please welcome Zanele Muholi's Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness...
11/26/2019

Coming to the Cooper Gallery January 31st, 2020, please welcome Zanele Muholi's Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness. A traveling Autograph exhibition curated by Renée Mussai.

In more than 80 self-portraits, celebrated visual activist Zanele Muholi(South African, b. 1972), uses their body as a canvas to confront the deeply personal politics of race and representation in the visual archive. In Somnyama Ngonyama, which translates to ‘Hail The Dark Lioness’ from isiZulu, Muholi playfully employs the conventions of classical painting, fashion photography, and the familiar tropes of ethnographic imagery to rearticulate contemporary identity politics.

"Music washes away the dust of everyday life from your feet" - Art Blakey. . . Wash away the dust this evening and join ...
11/15/2019

"Music washes away the dust of everyday life from your feet" - Art Blakey
. . .
Wash away the dust this evening and join us for the second installation of our Concert and Conversation series, featuring musical guest, Ron Reid's Liberty Quartet, and guest speaker, Christopher Lydon, host of NPR's Open Source.

Update: Tickets are currently SOLD OUT. Please email [email protected] with names of attendees, in order to join the waitlist.

Shots of Robyn Edges performing to Sade's "Is it a Crime" and Anya Nuttz performing to Ariana Grande's "Greedy" during o...
11/13/2019

Shots of Robyn Edges performing to Sade's "Is it a Crime" and Anya Nuttz performing to Ariana Grande's "Greedy" during our Celebration of Black Queer Art with the Association of Black Harvard Women.

We felt honored to be in conversation with Anya and Robyn and watch the phenomenal performances of two talented drag queens from the Boston area. Both Anya and Robyn highlighted the lack of racial diversity in drag, despite the innumerable ways in which black members of the LGBTQ+ community have defined the art form. From artistic creations of the Harlem Renaissance to the current day conceptions of drag, the artistic landscape of drag performance would be unrecognizable without the black LGBTQ+ individuals at the forefront of its development.

Photos by Hakeem Angulu

Join us TONIGHT for a Celebration of Black Queer Art in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month! Featuring local Drag Queen perfor...
10/28/2019

Join us TONIGHT for a Celebration of Black Queer Art in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month! Featuring local Drag Queen performances and a special performance from BlackCAST, this event centers the experiences of Black Queer Artists and provides a space for creative expression. All identities are welcome.
. . .
Organized by the Association of Black Harvard Women
Monday, October 28th 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

“Jazz photography was different; it was a way to document cats that never got documented. You know, the cats that were o...
10/09/2019

“Jazz photography was different; it was a way to document cats that never got documented. You know, the cats that were on the periphery that you never see but needed to be documented because they were on the scene too” - Frank Stewart

Frank Stewart, Stomping the Blues, 1966
https://buff.ly/2mYSyua

The inaugural night of our new programming series, Concert & Conversation at the Cooper Gallery was an incredible succes...
10/03/2019

The inaugural night of our new programming series, Concert & Conversation at the Cooper Gallery was an incredible success. Thank you to musician, Gregory Groover Jr., for the fantastic performance, and to all who were a part of this fantastic event! Our next installment in the series facilitated by composer, performer, and author Bill Banfield, will be held on Friday, October 18th at 7pm. This opportunity to engage with the future of Jazz and celebrate its lasting impact on the fabric of American culture is something that shouldn’t be missed!
https://buff.ly/2IkDq28

Frank Stewart’s work, on display now at the Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, encapsulates the multi-gen...
10/02/2019

Frank Stewart’s work, on display now at the Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, encapsulates the multi-generational impact of Jazz felt around the world. Through the art of photographic documentation, Stewart acutely offers an in-depth look into the personal and performative lives of prolific musicians that many would not ordinarily have the chance to explore.

Frank Stewart, Stacey, 2016

Tomorrow marks the inaugural night of our new programming series, Concert & Conversation at the Cooper Gallery featuring...
09/26/2019

Tomorrow marks the inaugural night of our new programming series, Concert & Conversation at the Cooper Gallery featuring musician, Gregory Groover Jr!

This monthly series at the Cooper Art Gallery aims to connect contemporary jazz arts performances with noted guest speakers, surrounded by stunning and provocative art installations in the Gallery. Conversations are facilitated by composer, performer, author Bill Banfield, and his JazzUrbane label collection of artists, followed by stellar performances for this compelling interdisciplinary weaving of image, sound, and ideas.

The Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art is proud to announce a thorough retrospective of the photography of...
08/07/2019

The Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art is proud to announce a thorough retrospective of the photography of Frank Stewart for our Fall exhibition, curated by Ruth Fine. Frank Stewart’s deep investigation of his African American roots through music, coupled with his intimate back- and on-stage access, offer a rich view of the jazz world via a post-modern vision that is firmly rooted in diverse artistic traditions. Jazz legends and younger stars -- Miles Davis, Ellis Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Etienne Charles, and Cécile McLorin Salvant among them -- are featured in eighty photographs.

Opening Reception: September 16th, 2019. 6-8 pm.

Tomorrow, July 19th, is the last day to see Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection at the Cooper Gallery! Com...
07/18/2019

Tomorrow, July 19th, is the last day to see Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection at the Cooper Gallery! Come experience the world through the eyes of Gordon Parks, as he used his camera to combat the social injustices he saw in the world. Our exhibition will close at 6 pm, Friday.

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Blakall

“These images serve as a testament to the collective resilience of African-American people and are integral to the large...
07/15/2019

“These images serve as a testament to the collective resilience of African-American people and are integral to the larger narrative of the African-American experience.”

Thank you, Jewels Dodson, for your review on “Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection”, co-organized by The Gordon Parks Foundation. Your review provides valuable insight into how the Dean Collection is changing the world of art collecting by being a “gatekeeper of the African-American experience”.

Invisible Man Retreat, Harlem, New York, 1952
Gelatin Silver Print

In 1956, Gordon Parks published a photo essay for LIFE Magazine, entitled, “The Restraints: Open and Hidden.” Parks’ pho...
07/01/2019

In 1956, Gordon Parks published a photo essay for LIFE Magazine, entitled, “The Restraints: Open and Hidden.” Parks’ photos documented the day to day experiences of the Thornton family living in Alabama under Jim Crow segregation. In this photo, young members of the family observe a playground reserved for white children through the holes of a chain link fence. This photo and others from Gordon Parks’ photo essay document the implicit and explicit marks of racism that were present in the segregated South. These photographs and others are on display now as part of our Gordon Parks exhibit until July 19th.

Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956
Archival Pigment Print
Photo Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation.

Thank you to Hyperallergic for this wonderful consideration of how the Dean Collection is re-engaging with art and colle...
06/28/2019
Hyperallergic

Thank you to Hyperallergic for this wonderful consideration of how the Dean Collection is re-engaging with art and collecting. Our exhibition is co-organized by the Gordon Parks Foundation.

Gordon Parks’ images, from the collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, serve as a testament to the collective resilience of African-American people and are integral to the larger narrative of the African-American experience.

"I’ve seen Parks’s work before, and often. I’ve been struck by his humanity, his precision, the way his eye could shift ...
06/10/2019
The uncommon power of Gordon Parks - The Boston Globe

"I’ve seen Parks’s work before, and often. I’ve been struck by his humanity, his precision, the way his eye could shift from gaudy drama to intimate, stolen moments. But I’ve never seen this."

Thank you, Murray Whyte, for your stellar review of Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection, co-organized by The Gordon Parks Foundation!

A key sampling of the famed African-American photojournalist’s work is on view at Harvard University.

Our #FeatureFriday this week highlights Gordon Parks's 1966-1970 photographs of Muhammad Ali. Parks first began photogra...
05/31/2019

Our #FeatureFriday this week highlights Gordon Parks's 1966-1970 photographs of Muhammad Ali. Parks first began photographing Ali on assignment for Life Magazine, and the two maintained a friendship thereafter. Parks' photographs were published at a time when Ali was criticized heavily for not serving in the Vietnam War due to conscientious objection via religious beliefs. Parks is often praised for capturing the boxer's grace and humanity in his photographs.

Image description: Left: Gordon Parks. "Untitled, London, England, 1966." Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation.
Center: Gordon Parks. "Muhammad Ali, Miami, Florida, 1966." Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation.
Right: Gordon Parks. "Untitled, London, England, 1966." Courtesy of Getty Images.

Gordon Parks set out capture the struggles of communities all over the globe. As a LIFEphotographer, he authored the pho...
05/24/2019

Gordon Parks set out capture the struggles of communities all over the globe. As a LIFE
photographer, he authored the photo essay of Flavio, a 12 year-old boy living in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, and his family. Flavio’s story spurred a massive reaction after it was published, eliciting 3,000 letters and raised $25,000 in donations from LIFE supporters to help the Da Silva family and the people of the favela.

A selection of this photo essay is now on view at the Gallery as part of our Gordon Parks
exhibit.

Flavio Da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, 1961
Gelatin Silver Print

“American Gothic,” the timeless painting by Grant Wood, was used to name this photograph that Parks took of Ella Wood, a...
05/17/2019

“American Gothic,” the timeless painting by Grant Wood, was used to name this photograph that Parks took of Ella Wood, a custodian at the Farm Security Administration offices in Washington D.C. American Gothic is not a typecast of Parks’ subject, but rather a moment of strength displayed by Woods as she stands firmly against the backdrop of the American flag. The iconic photograph will welcome you to the new Gordon Parks exhibit at the Gallery, which is on view until July 19th.

American Gothic, Washington D.C., 1942
Gelatin Silver Print

Gordon Parks was one of the most impactful photojournalists and filmmakers of the 20th century. He is known for capturin...
05/10/2019

Gordon Parks was one of the most impactful photojournalists and filmmakers of the 20th century. He is known for capturing iconic moments and images from the civil rights movement, and the African-American experience in the country from the 40’s to the 70’s. As a LIFE Magazine photojournalist, Parks photographed some of Muhammad Ali's most iconic portraits. This untitled photograph was taken in Miami in 1966 during a training session. The Gallery's show on the work of Gordon Parks will feature this photograph in a section dedicated to Ali. Find Ali among the many lives that Parks encountered and captured for us to see.

Untitled, Miami, Florida, 1966
Gelatin Silver Print

Thank you to Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean, The Gordon Parks Foundation, The Dean Collection and all of our friends who m...
04/29/2019

Thank you to Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean, The Gordon Parks Foundation, The Dean Collection and all of our friends who made the opening reception of our exhibition "Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection" a success! Stop by and see the collection for yourself, now open Monday through Friday 11-6

Thank you to Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean for giving us the opportunity to showcase their astounding collection! Contain...
04/26/2019

Thank you to Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean for giving us the opportunity to showcase their astounding collection! Container of the largest privately owned cache of Gordon Parks photography, the Dean Collection is a contemporary family collection and cultural platform. We are grateful to our co-organizers, The Gordon Parks Foundation, for working with us to make this happen. Join us tonight as we celebrate with an opening reception, beginning at 6 pm! #visionandjustice

The Cooper Gallery would like to wish a very happy birthday to Carrie Mae Weems! The Gallery showcased her photographs d...
04/20/2019

The Cooper Gallery would like to wish a very happy birthday to Carrie Mae Weems! The Gallery showcased her photographs during our Fall 2016 show, “I Once Knew A Girl.” We hope that this next year brings a great adventure Carrie’s way! @carriemaeweems View images from her exhibition at the Gallery here: https://buff.ly/2VCuvNY.

A week from today is the opening reception for our upcoming exhibition, Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collectio...
04/19/2019

A week from today is the opening reception for our upcoming exhibition, Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection. Join us at 6:00pm, Friday, April 26th, at the Cooper Gallery to be among the first to see the collection.

Image Description: Gordon Parks. "The Invisible Man, Harlem, New York, 1952." Gelatin Silver Print . 34 x 34”. Courtesy of the Gordon Parks Foundation

A career-spanning exhibition of Gordon Parks photographs from the Dean Collection will debut this spring at The Ethelber...
04/10/2019

A career-spanning exhibition of Gordon Parks photographs from the Dean Collection will debut this spring at The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University.

On view April 26th, 2019 through July 19th, 2019, the exhibition is co-organized by The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University and The Gordon Parks Foundation, in cooperation with consulting curator, Dr. Maurice Berger.

Join us for our opening reception at 6 pm, Friday, April 26th!

This is an #AppreciationPost for our wonderful vinyl text artist, Bob, who installs all wall text for our exhibitions. B...
04/02/2019

This is an #AppreciationPost for our wonderful vinyl text artist, Bob, who installs all wall text for our exhibitions. Bob is currently in the middle of installing for our upcoming show, to be announced soon!

Congrats to Chanel Thervil Artworks and Alexandria Smith Studio for making the #ARTery25 -- 25 millennials of color reco...
03/25/2019

Congrats to Chanel Thervil Artworks and Alexandria Smith Studio for making the #ARTery25 -- 25 millennials of color recognized for their contributions to the local Boston arts scene. Both artists were recently featured in our last exhibition, "Nine Moments For Now." We can't wait to see what they do next!

Read more about the #ARTery25 at wbur.org/artery

Image description: Chanel Thervil, "Pity Party: Selfies at the Start of the Trump Era," 2017. Acrylic on wood with pleated flag. 74 x 61". Courtesy of the artist.

The Cooper Gallery would like to congratulate Joy Buolamwini for winning the HUBweek award for Best in Art, Science, and...
02/27/2019

The Cooper Gallery would like to congratulate Joy Buolamwini for winning the HUBweek award for Best in Art, Science, and Tech! Her winning piece, AI, Ain't I a Woman was featured in our Fall show, Nine Moments for Now. Congratulations Joy!

Recently featured in the Cooper Gallery's display window, these Ms. Merri Macks have greeted many individuals passing by...
02/25/2019

Recently featured in the Cooper Gallery's display window, these Ms. Merri Macks have greeted many individuals passing by Mount Auburn St. in Cambridge. During the de-installation process, they are reunited with each other and carefully packed away.

“Nine Moments for Now” brings together contemporary art and modernist approaches to the question of how artists engage i...
02/22/2019

“Nine Moments for Now” brings together contemporary art and modernist approaches to the question of how artists engage in political speech. As with all cultural transformations, artists have been at the forefront of creating meaningful and complex responses to social engagement and civic discourse. Vote for 'Nine Moments for Now' at The Cooper Gallery at the 2019 HUBweek Art Awards!

As the Cooper Gallery is busy de-installing #NineMomentsForNow, check out some of behind-the-scenes shots of the hard wo...
02/21/2019

As the Cooper Gallery is busy de-installing #NineMomentsForNow, check out some of behind-the-scenes shots of the hard work our install crew puts in to make us shine! This is the deinstallation of Magdalena Campos-Pons' multimedia work, SugarBittersweet.

“Nine Moments for Now” brings together contemporary art and modernist approaches to the question of how artists engage i...
02/20/2019
2019 HUBweek Art Awards

“Nine Moments for Now” brings together contemporary art and modernist approaches to the question of how artists engage in political speech. As with all cultural transformations, artists have been at the forefront of creating meaningful and complex responses to social engagement and civic discourse.
Vote for 'Nine Moments for Now' at The Cooper Gallery at the 2019 HUBweek Art Awards!

2019 HUBweek Art Awards.

Happy Presidents Day. As we take the holiday to reflect on the values of our nation, we also remember legacy of past Pre...
02/18/2019

Happy Presidents Day. As we take the holiday to reflect on the values of our nation, we also remember legacy of past Presidents who have contributed to U.S history. As a country, we must push for the principles we would like to see improve and transform our country in the future.

Widely known for his Hope (2008) campaign poster which portrays a portrait of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in red, white, and blue, Shepard Fairey is an American graphic artist and social activist who blurs the boundary between traditional and commercial art through type and image, communicating his brand of social critique via prints, murals, stickers, and posters in public spaces. In 2017, the artist also created a series of three posters— featuring portraits of culturally diverse women in red, white, and blue.

Image Description: Shepherd Fairey, "Change [Barack Obama, U.S. Presidential Campaign Poster]," 2008. Poster. 26 x 40 ½” Part of the Hutchins Center Permanent Collection.

#FlashbackFriday Leo Antony “Tony” Gleaton (1948-2015) was an African American photographer, scholar, and artist who was...
02/15/2019

#FlashbackFriday Leo Antony “Tony” Gleaton (1948-2015) was an African American photographer, scholar, and artist who was best known for his photographic images capturing and documenting the African influence in the American West, Central and South America. Gleaton’s interest in the multicultural Southwest influenced his travels to Mexico. From 1986 to 1992, he resided with the Tarahumara Indians in northern Mexico and then moved to Guerrero and Oaxaca. Here, Gleaton began what is now his most famous project, Tengo Casi 500 Años: Africa’s Legacy in Mexico, Central & South America. Gleaton photographed the present-day descendants of African slaves brought to the region by Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. By 1996, Gleaton had expanded his project to include Central and South America, eventually traveling over fifty thousand miles with stops in sixteen countries between 1993 and 2002.

Image Description: Tony Gleaton, "Embrace of Memory, Tengo Casi 500 Años: Africa’s Legacy in Mexico, Central and South America," 1990. Silver Gelatin Print. 9 ½ x 9 ½”. Part of the Hutchins Center Permanent Collection.

Address

102 Mount Auburn St
Cambridge, MA
02138

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 18:00
Thursday 11:00 - 18:00
Friday 11:00 - 18:00

Telephone

(617) 496-5777

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