Chair: Kellie Jones, Columbia University

This panel is occasioned by Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980, an exhibition curated by Kellie Jones featuring seminal artists from the 1960s and 1970s, many of whom are only marginally represented in the historical record. The exhibition, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative and on view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, October 2011–January 2012, documents the emergence of a significant community of African American artists in Southern California. While African Americans founded their own institutions and hewed their own paths in the national and international art worlds, they relied on networks of friends who helped and championed them and who were not always African American. An important component of this exhibition is the exploration of the relationships between black artists in Los Angeles and other communities of practitioners, including both nonblack artists with whom friendships and coalitions were formed as well as African American artists in other parts of the country. Such connections elucidate the relationships and connections that move artists and art worlds forward. This panel brings together artists, art historians, and curators who reflect on the development and documentation of these networks.


  • Naima Keith, Studio Museum in Harlem

  • Karin Higa, Japanese American National Museum

  • C. Ian White, independent artist

  • Roberto Tejada, Southern Methodist University

  • Rebecca Peabody, Getty Research Institute


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