Tags for: New Histories, New Futures
  • Special Exhibition
Black Family: The Myth of the Missing Black Father, 2019. © Antwoine Washington

Black Family: The Myth of the Missing Black Father, 2019. Antwoine Washington (American, b. 1980). Acrylic on canvas; 24 x 30 in. Collection of the artist. © Antwoine Washington

New Histories, New Futures

Saturday, June 26–Sunday, September 12, 2021
Location: Transformer Station

About The Exhibition

This exhibition centers on three contemporary artists’ engagement with time and historical revisionism. Johnny Coleman (Oberlin, Ohio) revitalizes the marginalized history of one family’s journey on the Underground Railroad. His deep archival research on Lee Howard Dobbins, a four-year-old enslaved child whose journey north ended in illness and who was laid to rest in Oberlin in 1853, is the source of an ongoing series of large-scale installations. This exhibition will feature a new iteration of the series: an immersive installation that includes sculpture, sound, and projection. Antwoine Washington (Cleveland, Ohio) paints portraits of his own young family to counteract the stereotype of the absent Black father in a style that pays homage to artists of the Harlem Renaissance. The North Star series by Kambui Olujimi (New York, New York) features paintings and video of weightless, floating Black bodies “freed from the gravity of oppression,” imaging a future in which a politics of resistance can result in true bodily freedom. In these ways, the artists engage with the exhibition’s premise from standpoints rooted in the past, present, and future.


All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Major annual support is provided by the Estate of Dolores B. Comey and Bill and Joyce Litzler, with generous annual funding from Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Ms. Arlene Monroe Holden, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.