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From Harlem to U

See 100 works by artists of African descent in the new Utah Museum of Fine Arts exhibition.

Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem” is the first exhibition of its kind ever presented in Utah. Featuring powerful expressions of Black identity from nearly 80 artists of African descent, from the 1920s to the present, it celebrates Black creative achievement and highlights the voices and contributions of those often overlooked in the past.

“Black Refractions” is on view at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) now through Saturday, April 10. The UMFA is one of just six venues in the United States to host the exhibition, which is presented in partnership with the U’s Black Cultural Center.

“As the fine arts museum for our state and the U, the museum has an ongoing commitment to collecting and exhibiting more works by artists of color,” said Gretchen Dietrich, executive director of the UMFA. “Through this exhibition, the UMFA, the BCC and other wonderful campus and community partners hope to bring greater awareness to these artists’ work and challenge historical and current inequities within the art world and beyond.” 

Advance tickets are required, and gallery capacity will be limited. Visitors must wear face masks and maintain social distance from other households. Most exhibition-related events will be virtual, and classroom visits and tours will be provided online rather than in person.

A digital toolkit, available for download at, offers K-12 educators and U professors multiple ways to explore the exhibition in classrooms. Educators, docents, and curators are also available to help plan a virtual experience that supports course goals and content. Please visit for details.

Such an ambitious, multifaceted project is uniquely possible through the use of The Studio Museum in Harlems expansive and acclaimed collection. Through its pioneering exhibitions, public programs, foundational artist residency, and bold acquisitions, The Studio Museum in Harlem has served as a nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally, and internationally since its founding in 1968.

This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Major support for “Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem” is provided by Art Bridges. Sponsorship for the national tour provided in part by PURE. Support for the accompanying publication provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

The exhibition is curated by Connie H. Choi, associate curator, the permanent collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem. It was organized for Salt Lake City by Whitney Tassie, senior curator and curator of modern and contemporary art at UMFA.

The UMFA exhibition is made possible by Presenting Sponsor George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Curatorial Sponsor Willard L. Eccles Family Foundation, Installation Sponsors Tim & Stephanie Harpst and the U’s College of Mines and Earth Sciences, and Programming Sponsors J. Willard Marriott Library and Honors College, with in-kind support from Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts hours

Wednesday | 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Seniors and high-risk individuals | 10-11 a.m.
Sunday-Tuesday | Closed

Header image credit: Barkley L. Hendricks, “Lawdy Mama,” 1969, oil and gold leaf on canvas. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Stuart Liebman, in memory of Joseph B. Liebman, 1983.25. Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and American Federation of Arts.