Check Out 12 of the Newest Works of Art in UMMA's Collection - Now on View

Check Out 12 of the Newest Works of Art in UMMA's Collection - Now on View

Holmes Elementary Visit in Future Cache Exhibition Photo by Liz Barney

Across UMMA’s galleries this spring visitors will find several recent additions to the Museum’s collection that showcase a broad diversity of voices, an emphasis on global cultures, and conversations about the most pressing issues of our time.  

UMMA’s collection includes more than 20,000 objects, and has particular strengths in Chinese and Japanese art from antiquity to the 19th century, African art of the 19th and 20th centuries, and American art from the 19th century to the present. In 2021, UMMA completed an expansive strategic plan, which includes a strong commitment to expanding the collection with works of art by artists of color, women, works that build on the Museum’s significant strengths in African, Asian, and Michigan-based artists, and works that engage complexly with contemporary social and political issues and ideas. 

Now on display at UMMA are:

Matthew Angelo Harrison, Celestial Tower, 2021: This sculpture features a monumental mask from the Dogon people of Mali, which Harrison has encased in 3D printed resin, radically shifting its symbolism. It is now on view as part of We Write To You About Africa, a reinstallation of UMMA’s galleries of African art. This purchase was made possible by Wayee Chu (BA ‘97) and Ethan Beard.  

Ayana Jackson, Cascading Celestial Giant I and II, from the Take Me to the Water series, 2019: In the photography series Take Me to the Water, Jackson envisions and reimagines water deities and myths revered throughout Black populations living around the Atlantic Ocean. In these two large photographs, Jackson depicts herself dressed as the goddess Mame Coumba Bang, who watches over the city of Saint-Louis, Senegal, and protects its inhabitants from harm. The photographs are on view as part of Unsettling Histories: Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism. This purchase was made possible by the Director's Acquisition Committee.

Jess T. Dugan, Every Breath We Drew portfolio, 2019–2021: Dugan’s photography, video, and writing explores the power of identity, desire, and attachment, and draws from their own experiences as a queer and nonbinary person. The ten color photographs included in the Every Breath We Drew portfolio take influence from portrait painting, using natural light, color, gesture, and pose to imbue photographs of contemporary subjects with emotional intensity. Selections from the portfolio are currently on view as part of the Museum’s You Are Here exhibition. This purchase was made possible through the estates of Robert Metcalf (B.Arch. ‘50) and James van Sweden (B.Arch. ‘60).

Andrea Carlson, I’ll cut a hole, 2022; Nibi, 2022; A Selfish Man, 2022: Carlson’s work considers destructive settler colonial practices of assimilation and the consumption of cultural identities, while centering issues of land rights and celebrating Indigenous histories and futures. I’ll cut a hole, Nibi, and A Selfish Man are all currently on view at UMMA as part of the long-term installation Future Cache

Steven Young Lee, Icon, 2019: In Icon, Lee combines an image of Bruce Lee and the dragon and flower-scroll motifs ubiquitous in many exported blue and white wares. The images of Lee and the dragons are fractured across nineteen small circular plates, as if to suggest the distance between the reality of Asia/Asians and how they are imagined in American consciousness. Icon is currently on view as part of the Around the World in Blue and White exhibition, spanning across four of UMMA’s galleries. This purchase was made possible by the William C. Weese, M.D. Endowment for Ceramic Arts.

Sonya Clark, Whitewashed, 2017: In Whitewashed, Clark uses an all-white color palette to recreate the flag of the United States of America and ask visitors to consider the ideological and political processes that have defined and ranked people’s citizenship. The piece is painted directly on the gallery wall by UMMA staff following instructions from Clark and is on view as part of Curriculum / Collection. This purchase was made possible by the UMMA Director’s Acquisition Committee. 

Frederick Ebenezer Okai, When the Gods Speak, Heaven Listens, 2022: When the Gods Speak, Heaven Listens was recently featured in the artist’s solo exhibition at the Gyamadudu Museum in central Ghana. Physically imposing at 174 inches in height, the sculpture consists of two parts: a clay body that is covered in ridges, cracks, and embossed patterns and a ceramic topper that depicts a pair of humans. Above the work hovers a cloud, made from duvet stuffing and lit from within.  This work will be installed as part of the We Write To You About Africa exhibition later this spring. This purchase was made possible by the UMMA Director’s Acquisition Committee.


View All