"In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."- the first major Smithsonian exhibition of visual arts dedicated to celebrating this American hero - features 120 works by prominent and emerging artists, including folk artists. The exhibition is a visual testament to the enduring power of King's life and work.
Circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), "In the Spirit of Martin" will premiere at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Mich. on Jan. 13, 2002 and remain on view through July 28, 2002. The exhibition will travel through March 2004 to museums in Miami, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, Memphis and Montgomery.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is recognized universally as one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. Beginning with an impressionistic look at 300 years of resistance to oppression on the part of African Americans, the exhibition debuts King in his role as a primary player in the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott. At that time, King was emerging as a passionate religious and community leader. The exhibition follows the development of King as a world voice in nonviolent social action - moving through the mid-1960s, the height of the Vietnam war, his assassination, his status as an icon, and the lasting influence of his message.
"In the Spirit of Martin" includes works by such artists as Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Gordon Parks, Andy Warhol, Martin Puryear, Norman Rockwell, Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Robert Rauschenberg, Sue Coe, Emanuel Martinez, Faith Ringgold, Charles Alston, Thornton Dial and Ben Shahn.
With works created during King's lifetime, as well as those completed as recently as 2001, the exhibition is evidence that King's message and memory have continued to shape American life.
"From among the innumerable exhibitions SITES has issued over the years, 'In the Spirit' is one of the most important," said Anna R. Cohn, SITES' director. "It speaks profoundly to the lasting impact of Dr. King's influence, transcending both time and medium to honor his voice through great artistry. At this moment, when the dual challenges of courage and sacrifice are at the forefront of the American experience, we are especially gratified to share 'In the Spirit of Martin' with the public."
The national traveling exhibition is complemented by a large-format full-color book.
In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is published by Tinwood Books. For more information, visit www.tinwoodbooks.com.
"In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." was created and developed by Gary Chassman, Verve Editions, and organized for travel by SITES in cooperation with The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change Inc. "In the Spirit of Martin" was made possible by PepsiCo Inc.
With revenues of $25 billion, PepsiCo ranks as the world's fifth largest food and beverage company. It includes Frito-Lay Co., the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of snack chips; Pepsi-Cola Co., the second largest soft drink business; Tropicana Products, the largest marketer and producer of branded juice; the Quaker Oats Co. and Gatorade, the world's leading sports drink.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to continuing the legacy and work of Martin Luther King Jr. through research, education and training in the principles, philosophy and methods of King's philosophy of nonviolence. The King Center was established by Coretta Scott King in 1968 as a living memorial dedicated to preserving the legacy of her husband and carrying forward his unfinished work for human rights and peace. For more information about the King Center, visit www.thekingcenter.org.
Each year, SITES shares the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside of Washington, D.C. One of the Smithsonian's four National Programs, SITES makes available a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown not only in museums but wherever people live, work, and play, including libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools and shopping malls. In 2002, SITES will celebrate 50 years of connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage.