Three students pose for a photo within a gold frame.

The Davis Museum is back, featuring the work of Lorraine O’Grady ’55

Image credit: Ahana Basu ’25

Author  Photos: Ahana Basu ’25 and Joel Haskell. Text: Shannon O'Brien
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It was a night of art, joy, and celebration as more than 600 people attended the February 8 opening of the Davis Museum and the launch of Both/And, an exhibition of the work of acclaimed artist Lorraine O’Grady ’55. Many attendees donned white gloves in tribute to one of O’Grady’s iconic performances, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire.

Both/And is the first major career survey of O’Grady, who over the last four decades has critiqued issues of race, class, and gender through performance art, collage, photo installation, video, and text. She will return to Wellesley in early March as part of programming at the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities. Faculty and students will use an e-book published in tandem with the exhibition in a variety of classroom capacities.

Artist Dominique Duroseau performed Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love as part of “Taking the White Gloves Off: A Performance Art Series in Honor of Lorraine O’Grady ’55.” The series continues throughout the semester.

Lorraine O'Grady holds a microphone and gestures at an audience while making a speech during dinner.
“I have been working very hard, from the moment ‘Both/And’ began at the Brooklyn Museum, to shift the emphasis and the discussion around my work from me as a figure, as a person who had an interesting life, to work that is important...from the artist to the work,” O'Grady said to dinner guests. “But I feel that this is the first moment when it’s all come together.” Photo: Joel Haskell
A line of people look at photos during opening night for Lorraine O'Grady's exhibit at the Davis Museum.
More than 600 visitors made their way through the Davis Museum during the reception for “Both/And.” Photo: Ahana Basu ’25
A performance artist is on stage, saturated in blue lighting as students sit on the ground looking up at her.
Artist Dominique Duroseau performed “Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love.” Photo: Ahana Basu ’25
Hundreds of people wind their way through the Lorraine O'Grady exhibit, as seen from above.
“Both/And” will be on view at the museum until June 2. Photo: Joel Haskell
A grid of photos showing detail shots of attendees wearing white gloves.
Many attendees wore white gloves to the event. Photo: Ahana Basu ’25