Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power
Susan E. Cahan is Associate Dean and Dean of the Arts in Yale College, the editor of I Remember Heaven: Jim Hodges and Andy Warhol, and the coeditor of Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education. She has directed programs at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Peter Norton Family Foundation.
Art History Publication Initiative
The epilogue outlines the strategies ultimately devised by the major museums to manage and accommodate the call for cultural equity and social justice: the creation of specific physical spaces within the museums in which to show works by artists of color—often restaurant galleries or small exhibition project spaces; reframing issues of cultural equity and accessibility as questions of “audience development”; and helping to create the wave of new, culturally grounded museums and train a contingent of art historians and administrators to staff them. This last development, the emergence of culturally grounded art museums, marks the 1970s as the beginning of the current era, a period of new opportunities for artists of color, but one that retains from the past culturally coded pathways through the art world; systems that sift artists by “race” and ethnicity; and culturally separate institutions with managed crossovers.