Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Lecture
Dr. Kellie Jones: "Crisscrossing the World: Los Angeles Artists and the Global Imagination, 1960-1980"
Kellie Jones is the daughter of the poets Hettie Jones and Amiri Baraka. Kellie Jones grew up immersed in a world of artists, musicians, and writers in Manhattan’s East Village and absorbed in black nationalist ideas about art, politics, and social justice across the river in Newark. The activist vision of art and culture that she learned in those two communities, and especially from her family, has shaped her life and work as an art critic and curator.
Her research interests as an Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology at the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latino/a and Latin American Artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory. Dr. Jones has also worked as a curator for over three decades and has numerous major national and international exhibitions to her credit. She has organized shows for the Johannesburg Biennale (1997) and São Paulo Bienal (1989), the latter of which, featuring the work of Martin Puryear, won the grand prize for best individual exhibition. Her exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980,” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, was named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum, and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She is the co-curator of “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the 1960s.” Opening at the Brooklyn Museum in March 2014 the show celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
Dr. Jones’ numerous awards include a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2013. In 2005, she was the inaugural recipient of the David C. Driskell Award in African American Art and Art History from the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Her many publications include the forthcoming Taming the Freeway and Other Acts of Urban HIP-notism: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s.