Exhibition Catalogue for Angela Davis—Seize the Time Available September 15, 2020

August 19, 2020


Exhibition Catalogue for Angela Davis—Seize the Time Available September 15


New Brunswick, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition Angela Davis—Seize the Time is postponed due to the pandemic, but the 192-page exhibition catalogue, which documents Davis’s life, influence, and enduring activism over the past 50 years, is available from Hirmer Publishers beginning September 15. Details are available here from The University of Chicago Press.


The book complements the exhibition, which debuts at Rutgers University’s Zimmerli Art Museum in September 2021. The exhibition focuses on Davis and her image, inspired by and centered on a private archive, based in Oakland, Calif. Accused of murder in connection with an August 7, 1970, armed attack on a courthouse in California, Davis was forced underground in fear for her life. Her capture in New York created an international call for justice that resonated across the globe. The posters, photographs, news articles and printed matter that fueled and supported the movement to “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” are found within the archive and book, and will be presented in the exhibition. Davis spent 16 months in jail before being found not guilty on all counts. 


The exhibition and book also explore Davis’s significance, from the 1970s to today, as an activist and scholar who calls attention to the struggles of oppressed people worldwide. Angela Davis – Seize the Time views her journey through the lenses of race, gender, economic and political policies, and her inspiration of contemporary artists who call for social justice, the abolition of prisons, and the end of economic disenfranchisement.


Among the catalogue’s 175 color illustrations are photographs, court sketches, press coverage, videos, correspondence and Davis’s political writings. In addition, it presents art from the 1970s to the present by more than 50 artists, including Félix Beltrán, Elizabeth Catlett, Melvin Edwards, Yevgeniy Fiks, Coco Fusco, Steffani Jemison and Justin Hicks, Roberto Lugo, Faith Ringgold, Juan Sanchez, Carrie Schneider and Charles White.


The book includes essays from co-curators Donna Gustafson, the Zimmerli’s interim director and Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs; Gerry Beegan, an associate professor in Design at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts; and Nicole Fleetwood, professor of American studies and art history at Rutgers. There are also interviews with Angela Davis by René de Guzman, senior curator of art at the Oakland Museum of California, and Lisbet Tellefsen, who compiled the private archive on which the exhibition is based.


The exhibition is co-curated by Gustafson and Beegan, with the assistance of an advisory group of intersectional scholars, artists, activists and archivists, including Fleetwood, Daonne Huff, Ericka Huggins, Jemison, and Tellefsen. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment, Voorhees Family Endowment, and donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibitions Fund: Kathrin and James Bergin, Joyce and Alvin Glasgold, Sundaa and Randy Jones, and Heena and Hemanshu Pandya. The catalogue is also supported by the Class of 1937 Publications Endowment Fund.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zimmerli remains closed to the public and all programs are suspended until further notice. In the meantime, the public can search the Zimmerli’s collection at eMuseum. News regarding operations and virtual offerings, as well as staff contact information, are posted on the museum’s home page.



The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.



Ever since it was founded by Professor Dr. Max Hirmer in 1948, the publishing house has been determined to maintain the highest quality, frequently winning awards for doing just that. Today, Hirmer Publishers, with its headquarters in Munich, ranks among the most prestigious publishers of art books. The subjects of Hirmer books span a wide range of areas from painting, photography, architecture, design, sculpture, and drawings to fashion, and the history of culture and include series of academic publications as well as extensive catalogues raisonnés. In recent years, Hirmer Publishers has increasingly turned its focus to contemporary art without neglecting its traditional roots in fields such as archaeology and the decorative arts.



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