ART CRITICISM, THEORY AND HISTORY

PUBLISHER
Gregory R. Miller & Co.

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 7.25 x 9 in. / 628 pgs / 35 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2021 p. 17   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781941366325 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $55.95 GBP £34.99

AVAILABILITY
In stock

BROWSE THE 2021 FALL CATALOG

Preview our FALL 2021 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

GREGORY R. MILLER & CO.

The Soul of a Nation Reader

Writings by and about Black American Artists, 1960–1980

Edited with text by Mark Godfrey, Allie Biswas. Afterword by Zoé Whitley.

Featured image—the cover of <I>AMISTAD II: Afro-American Art,</I> 1975, by David C. Driskell—
is reproduced from ‘The Soul of a Nation Reader'.

A comprehensive compendium of artists and writers confronting questions of Black identity, activism and social responsibility in the age of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, based on the landmark traveling exhibition

What is “Black art”? This question was posed and answered time and time again between 1960 and 1980 by artists, curators and critics deeply affected by this turbulent period of radical social and political upheaval in America. Rather than answering in one way, they argued for radically different ideas of what “Black art” meant.

Across newspapers and magazines, catalogs, pamphlets, interviews, public talks and panel discussions, a lively debate emerged between artists and others to address profound questions of how Black artists should or should not deal with politics, about what audiences they should address and inspire, where they should try to exhibit, how their work should be curated, and whether there was or was not such a category as “Black art” in the first place.

Conceived as a reader connected to the landmark exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which shone a light on the vital contributions made by Black artists over two decades, this anthology collects over 200 texts from the artists, critics, curators and others who sought to shape and define the art of their time.

Exhaustively researched and edited by exhibition curator Mark Godfrey, who provides the substantial introduction, and Allie Biswas, included are rare and out-of-print texts from artists and writers, as well as texts published for the first time ever.

Contributors include: Lawrence Alloway, Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, Tomie Arai, Ralph Arnold, Dore Ashton, Malcolm Bailey, Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, Fred Beauford, Cleveland Bellow, LeGrace G. Benson, Dawoud Bey, Camille Billops, Gloria Bohanon, Claude Booker, Frank Bowling, David Bradford, Peter Bradley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kay Brown, Milton Brown, Vivian Browne, Linda Goode Bryant, Margaret G. Burroughs, Debbie Butterfield, Steve Cannon, Yvonne Parks Catchings, Elizabeth Catlett, Dana Chandler, Claudia Chapline, Charles Childs, Edward Clark, A.D. Coleman, Dan Concholar, John Coplans, Hugh M. Davies, Douglas Davis, Bing Davis, Alonzo Davis, Dale Davis, Melvin Dixon, Jeff Donaldson, Robert Doty, Emory Douglas, John Dowell, Louis Draper, David C. Driskell, Tony Eaton, Eugene Eda, Melvin Edwards, Ray Elkins, Ralph Ellison, Marion Epting, Elton Fax, Elsa Honig Fine, Frederick Fiske, Babatunde Folayemi, Clebert Ford, Edmund Barry Gaither, Addison Gayle, Henri Ghent, Ray Gibson, Sam Gilliam, Robert H. Glauber, Lynda Goode-Bryant, Allan M. Gordon, Earl G. Graves, Carroll Greene, Abdul Alkalimat, David Hammons, David Henderson, Napoleon Henderson, M.J. Hewitt, Richard Hunt, Sam Hunter, Josine Ianco-Starrels, Nigel Jackson, Jay Jacobs, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Marie Johnson, Walter Jones, Lois Mailou Jones, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Cliff Joseph, Paul Keene, Martin Kilson, Wee Kim, April Kingsley, Hilton Kramer, Jacob Lawrence, Carolyn Lawrence, Don L. Lee, Hughie Lee-Smith, Samella Lewis, Tom Lloyd, Al Loving, Howard Mallory, Earl Roger Mandle, Jan van der Marck, Phillip Mason, James Mellow, Paul Mills, Evangeline J. Montgomery, Toni Morrison, Keith Morrison, Larry Neal, Cindy Nemser, Senga Nengudi, Robert Newman, Lorraine O'Grady, Ademola Olugebefola, John Outterbridge, Joe Overstreet, Marion Perkins, Marcy S. Philips, Howardena Pindell, Mimi Poser, Helaine Posner, Noah Purifoy, Ishmael Reed, Gary Rickson, Clayton Riley, Faith Ringgold, Mark Rogovin, Barbara Rose, Victoria Rosenwald, Joseph Ross, Bayard Rustin, Betye Saar, Raymond Saunders, Robert Sengstacke, Jeanne Siegel, Lowery Stokes Sims, Steve Smith, Beuford Smith, Frank Smith, Val Spaulding, Edward Spriggs, Nelson Stevens, James Stewart, Edward K. Taylor, Alma Thomas, Ruth Waddy, William Walker, Francis and Val Gray Ward, Timothy Washington, Burton Wasserman, Diane Weathers, John Weber, JoAnn Whatley, Charles White, Jack Whitten, Roy Wilkins, William T. Williams, Gerald Williams, Randy Williams, William Wilson, Hale Woodruff and Cherilyn C. Wright.


Featured image—the cover of AMISTAD II: Afro-American Art, 1975, by David C. Driskell— is reproduced from ‘The Soul of a Nation Reader'.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Culture Type

Victoria Valentine

Between 1960 and 1980 was a transformative time in the American narrative when Black leaders sought radical solutions to racism, injustice, and inequality, and artists often struggled to figure out their role in the quest for change. What is “Black art” and does such a category exist? Artists, curators, and critics considered these matters repeatedly, during the time, offering a spectrum of artistic responses, theories, opinions. Complementing the landmark traveling exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” this comprehensive volume gathers more than 150 rare and out-of-print text and newly published material from artists and writers addressing “questions of Black identity, activism and social responsibility in the age of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.

ARTnews

In 2017 the exhibition "The Soul of a Nation" traveled...garnering rave reviews along the way. Now comes [this] companion anthology of writings focused on art's relationship to the Black Power movement of the '60s and '70s. Many of these writings...are a half-century old, but they still resonate.

Huey Copeland

Like the exhibition whose title it shares, The Soul of a Nation Reader revivifies our understanding of the range, complexity and sophistication of Black artistic praxis since the long 1960s. Gathering both often referenced and out-of-print texts from across the ideological spectrum, this anthology not only provides an unprecedented view of the ambitions and constraints of African American art but also makes essential reading for anyone invested in thinking critically and capaciously about the politics of contemporary cultural practice.

Naomi Beckwith

Just as the exhibition curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley reinvigorated so many necessary art practices and introduced them to new publics, The Soul of a Nation Reader revives the aesthetic debates swirling around Black art starting six decades ago. In so doing, it demonstrates the high stakes of these arguments: from the popular press to academic studies, debaters saw themselves as building new societies as well as writing the first drafts of contemporary Black art history.

Kerry James Marshall

Clearly, Black culture is not a monolith. Disputes about the status of Black artists and their liberation, or obligations, have rumbled through intellectual circles for generations. In shouts and murmurs, with protests and manifestos, artists and political activists have made their positions known. For the first time, a broad selection of the arguments covering the 1960s to 1980s has been compiled in a single volume. Now, anybody interested in understanding what is still at stake can do so with The Soul of a Nation Reader.

New York Magazine

Tembe Denton-Hurst

Arts educator and founder of Black Art Library Asmaa Walton says this book, a companion to the art exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” is a must-have, particularly for anyone who loves visual art and history.

New York Times Book Review

Abdi Latif Dahir

Revisiting an earlier era of unrest, this book gathers texts from Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison and more on Black art.

BLAU International No. 4

The texts each stake a position in the still vital debates on the roles of Black artists and their relationships to art institutions.

The Soul of a Nation Reader

in stock  $39.95


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FROM THE BOOK
Advance Praise

In their own words! Clearly, Black culture is not a monolith. Disputes about the status of Black artists and their liberation, or obligations, have rumbled through intellectual circles for generations. In shouts and murmurs, with protests and manifestos, artists and political activists have made their positions known. For the first time, a broad selection of the arguments covering the 1960s to 1980s has been compiled in a single volume. Now, anybody interested in understanding what is still at stake can do so with The Soul of a Nation Reader.”
—Kerry James Marshall

“Just as the exhibition curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley reinvigorated so many necessary art practices and introduced them to new publics, The Soul of a Nation Reader revives the aesthetic debates swirling around Black art starting six decades ago. In so doing, it demonstrates the high stakes of these arguments: from the popular press to academic studies, debaters saw themselves as building new societies as well as writing the first drafts of contemporary Black art history.”
—Naomi Beckwith

“Like the exhibition whose title it shares, The Soul of a Nation Reader revivifies our understanding of the range, complexity and sophistication of Black artistic praxis since the long 1960s. Gathering both often referenced and out-of-print texts from across the ideological spectrum, this anthology not only provides an unprecedented view of the ambitions and constraints of African American art but also makes essential reading for anyone invested in thinking critically and capaciously about the politics of contemporary cultural practice.”
Huey Copeland

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/24/2021

On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, a compendium of writings by and about Black American artists, 1960–1980

On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, a compendium of writings by and about Black American artists, 1960–1980

Featured here are the covers of Contemporary Black Artists in America (Whitney Museum of American Art, 1971), The Black 70’s, edited by Floyd B. Barbour (Porter Sargent, 1970) and AFRI-COBRA III (University Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1973)—three of the publications featured in Gregory R. Miller & Co.’s landmark new release, The Soul of a Nation Reader, a collection of original writings by and on artists of the Black Power era. Edited by Mark Godfrey and Allie Biswas, this comprehensive, exhaustively researched volume is the only book of its kind. This week, on the anniversary of George Floyd’s tragic but catalytic death, it is clear that this historic collection could not be more relevant, or more empowering. On another cover, of the short-lived ABA: A Journal of Affairs of Black Artists, conceived in 1971 by Edmund Barry Gaither and funded by the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA) in Boston, the editors printed the following text: “Where has the Black Artist in America been all this time? He’s been in the streets in Watts, in Roxbury and Chicago. He’s been in his body. In hard times. He’s been in the eyes of people who love him and the eyes of people who hate him. And he’s been putting it all down. On canvas. In stone. Out of wood. Affairs of Black Artists, a new journal devoted to the life and times of Black Artists, takes a good look at where the Black Artist in America has been, where he is, and where he’s going. It’s beautiful. It’s enlightening. It’s about time.” continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/18/2021

Highly Anticipated ‘Soul of a Nation Reader’ is a New Release this week!

Highly Anticipated ‘Soul of a Nation Reader’ is a New Release this week!

Featured spreads are from The ‘Soul of a Nation’ Reader: Writings by and about Black American Artists, 1960–1980, publisher Gregory R. Miller & Co.’s remarkable new 628-page compendium of approximately 230 original texts on Black identity, activism and social responsibility—many of which are previously unpublished, rare or have been out of print for decades. This essential volume was compiled over more than eight years of painstaking research by editors Mark Godfrey (curator of the landmark exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power), who contributes a substantial introductory essay, and Allie Biswas, who has written contextualizing introductions for each historic text. “In their own words! Clearly, Black culture is not a monolith," Kerry James Marshall writes. "Disputes about the status of Black artists and their liberation, or obligations, have rumbled through intellectual circles for generations. In shouts and murmurs, with protests and manifestos, artists and political activists have made their positions known. For the first time, a broad selection of the arguments covering the 1960s to 1980s has been compiled in a single volume. Now, anybody interested in understanding what is still at stake can do so with The 'Soul of a Nation' Reader.” continue to blog


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