Current Exhibitions

Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue

July 21 – October 23, 2022

Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). The Woman in the Light, Harlem, NY, 1980. Gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 inches. © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953). Harlem Street, 1976–77. Gelatin silver print, 5 5/16 x 8 15/16 inches. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue is organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum, with support generously provided by MillerKnoll, Wege Foundation, Agnes Gund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Eenhoorn, LLC.

Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue brings together a focused selection of work from a period of over forty years by two of today’s most important and influential photo-based artists.

Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems, both born in 1953, came of age during a period of dramatic change in the American social landscape. Since meeting at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1976, the two artists have been intellectual colleagues and companions. Over the following five decades, Bey and Weems have explored and addressed similar themes: race, class, representation, and systems of power, creating work that is grounded in specific African American events and realities while simultaneously speaking to a multitude of human conditions. This exhibition, for the first time, brings their work together to shed light on their unique trajectories and modes of presentation, and their shared consciousness and principles.

From the outset of their careers, both Bey and Weems have operated from a deep social commitment to participate in, describe, and define culture. In seeking to express themselves fully, both artists have expanded possibilities within photography and video to address their chosen subjects. Each engaged in the material and conceptual developments in the art world that were gaining prominence beginning in the 1970s, just as their careers were developing. As Bey and Weems have continued to push their own work forward, their art and approach have inspired notable younger artists such as LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lyle Ashton Harris, Mickalene Thomas, and Hank Willis Thomas.

Both Bey and Weems create work in focused series that gives them the opportunity to fully explore their complex and layered ideas. Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue is arranged in five sections that present the two artists’ work in thematic pairings, emphasizing both their mutual concerns and distinct artistic approaches.

This exhibition pairs the two artists’ work in five sections that emphasize both their distinct artistic approaches and their shared interests and concerns: Early Work, Broadening the Scope, Resurrecting Black Histories, Memorial and Requiem, and Revelations in the Landscape. Also featured in the exhibition are videos by Bey and Weems that show their approaches to the moving photographic image as an extension of their still photographic series.

Beginning with Early Work, viewers will travel through the 35mm photography Bey and Weems captured at the outset of their careers, embracing both spontaneous scenes of city life, and more quiet, domestic interactions. In Broadening the Scope, Bey and Weems begin staging their photographs — Bey capturing posed street portraits of young subjects in urban environments and Weems staging her groundbreaking, narrative-based Kitchen Table Series.

In Resurrecting Black Histories, we see the artists’ deepened interest in documenting places and moments heavy with historical importance. Bey captures safe houses and meeting sites in near darkness along the Underground Railroad of Ohio, while Weems’ somber Sea Island Series explores the African legends and folklore that was retained within the Gullah culture of the Southern United States. In Memorial and Requiem, both artists become full-fledged in their commitment to cultural documentation, paying homage to tragic historic events. In the final section, Revelations in the Landscape, the artists return to a more distanced observation, contemplating the effects of time through location. Bey revisits Harlem, now photographing the effects of gentrification in color, while Weems appears in her own shots against the ancient structures of Rome, clad all in black as she guides the viewer through age-old institutional powers abroad.

Presenting Sponsor

Bank of America


Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). Self and Shadow, New York, NY, 1980. Gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 inches. © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). Taneesha, 1999. Internal dye diffusion transfer prints, 30 x 22 inches each (30 x 66 inches overall). © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953). Reclining Girl, Fiji, 1982–83. Gelatin silver print, 5 5/16 x 8 15/16 inches. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953) The Edge of Time–Ancient Rome, from the series Roaming, 2006. Digital chromogenic print, 73 x 61 inches. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953). First Self Portrait, 1975. Gelatin silver print, 8 5/8 x 8 5/8 inches. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953). Untitled (Woman and Daughter with Children) from The Kitchen Table Series, 1990. Gelatin silver print, 27 ¼ x 27 1/4. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). The Birmingham Project: Taylor Falls and Deborah Hackworth, 2012. Archival pigment prints mounted to dibond, 40 x 64 inches (two separate 40 x 32 inch photographs). © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). Former Renaissance Ballroom Site, Harlem, NY, from the series Harlem Redux, 2016. Archival pigment print, 40 x 48 inches. © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). Couple in Prospect Park, 1990 (printed 2018). Gelatin silver print, 21 7/8 x 17 1/2 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 2018.22. © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953). Untitled (Woman playing solitaire) from The Kitchen Table Series, 1990. Gelatin silver print, 40 x 40 inches. © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953). The Birmingham Project: Wallace Simmons and Eric Allums, 2012. Archival pigment prints mounted to dibond, 40 x 64 inches (two separate 40 x 32 inch photographs). © Dawoud Bey. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery.

Exhibition Catalogue

Accompanying the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue published with DelMonico Books and distributed by D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.) which documents Bey and Weems’ photographs and includes scholarly essays by GRAM Chief Curator Ron Platt and National Museum of African American History & Culture Deputy Director, Kinshasa Holman Conwill, along with written reflections by both artists.

About Dawoud Bey

Portrait of Dawoud Bey by Whitten Sabbatini

Photographer Dawoud Bey’s first exhibition was presented at the Studio Museum in Harlem, in 1979. Since then, his work has been presented internationally to critical and popular acclaim. Recent large-scale exhibitions of his photographs have been presented at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Modern, London. Bey’s writings on his own and others’ work are included in Dawoud Bey: Seeing Deeply and Dawoud Bey on Photographing People and Communities, and High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967 – 1975. Learn more about Dawoud Bey.

About Carrie Mae Weems

Portrait of Carrie Mae Weems

Over her career, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of artwork through which she explores power, class, black identity, womanhood, the historical past – and its resonance in the present moment. In addition to photography, Weems creates video, performance, and works of public art, and she organizes thematic gatherings which bring together creative thinkers across a broad array of disciplines. Her work has been exhibited across the world, at venues such as the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain, and the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Learn more about Carrie Mae Weems.

Current Exhibitions

All in Favor: New Works in the Permanent Collection

On view June 30, 2022
through July 23, 2023

Suchitra Mattai (Guyanese, b. 1973), Alter Ego, 2020. Acrylic, embroidery floss, vintage sari, fabric, appliques, brush. 58 x 46 inches.
Suchitra Mattai (Guyanese, b. 1973), Alter Ego, 2020. Acrylic, embroidery floss, vintage sari, fabric, appliques, brush. 58 x 46 inches.
Two-vial perfume bottle with three-tier handle
Two-vial perfume bottle with three-tier handle. Glass; Eastern Mediterranean; Roman Imperial period, ca. 2nd-3rd cent. ce. 6 ¾ x 2 ⅞ x 1 ¼ inches. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Ms. Lili Kaufmann, 2021.045.

Over the past five years the Tampa Museum of Art has received a record number of gifts to the permanent collection. The exhibition, All in Favor: New Works in the Permanent Collection, highlights the many recent works that have entered TMA’s holdings, ranging from ancient glass and bronze objects to contemporary paintings and sculptures from today’s leading artists. Artists on view include the collective assume vivid astro focus (AVAF), Christo, Jane Corrigan, Mitchell Johnson, Suchitra Mattai, Simphiwe Ndzube, Roger Palmer, Daisy Patton, Jaume Plensa, Claudia Ryan, John Scott, and others.

Collections may be described as the heart of any museum. At their best, collections should inspire museum staff and influence exhibition and education programming. More importantly, collections should reflect the community at large and create a lasting impression on visitors. It is common for museum objects to become like old friends, with visitors returning again and again to see their favorite work or artist on view. Acquisitions, or works collected by a museum, can define a museum and tell its story. These objects not only reflect the institution’s evolving vision and mission over time but also highlight socio-political events and ideologies, creative choices and nuances in artistic technique, as well as technological advances that define specific periods and genres of art. 

The Tampa Museum of Art’s collection focuses on two main areas: ancient art, and modern and contemporary art. Throughout its storied history, TMA has prided itself on its growing collections. In 1986, the Museum acquired its first major collection of ancient art from the Joseph Veach Noble Collection, which continues to anchor the Museum’s Greek and Roman antiquities. The modern and contemporary art collection includes works in five major groups—painting, sculpture, prints, photography, and new media/installation art. In total, the Museum has acquired nearly 7,500 objects. 

Collecting institutions such as the Tampa Museum of Art maintain strict standards of acquisition policies. While each museum’s procedures may be slightly different, the goal is to adhere to high levels of research with acute attention paid to an object’s history, its relevance to other works in the collection, as well as its needs for long-term care and conservation. Like many museums, TMA works with a Collections Committee, a dedicated group of Board and community members who review artworks recommended by curatorial staff. Each object is carefully discussed and voted on, with each assessment concluding (hopefully) with the resounding vote of approval, “All in favor, say aye.” 

All in Favor: New Works in the Permanent Collection presents a select group of objects and artworks recently acquired by the Tampa Museum of Art. Over the past five years, the Museum has accepted more than 200 works of art, the majority of which have been generously gifted by the Tampa Bay area community. All in Favor looks at a mere sample of the many works that have entered the collection, with a special focus on new contemporary paintings and sculptures, as well as ancient glass and bronze pitchers. The exhibition not only celebrates the growth of TMA’s collection but the heart of its priorities—sharing our holdings with the community and fostering a new generation of collection favorites.

All in Favor is one of several new exhibitions dedicated to the Museum’s permanent collection that will be on view for long-term displays over the next five years.

This exhibition is supported in part by:

Culture Builds Florida - Florida Department of State - Division of Arts & Culture
Tampa Museum of Art Foundation
Current Exhibitions

Purvis Young: Redux

June 18, 2022 – June 30, 2024

Art exhibition "Purvis Young: 91"
Installation view, Purvis Young: 91, 2019. Photographer: Foto Bohemia 

Inspired by the success of the exhibition Purvis Young: 91 in 2019, the Tampa Museum of Art will remount its Purvis Young collection as one of the first of several long-term displays of the permanent collection. Young’s paintings reflect his observations of daily life and the fight for social justice, hope for his community, immigration and otherness, as well as the fragile balance between life and death.

Purvis Young: Redux is one of several exhibitions on view between 2022-2024, highlighting the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection focused on ancient art and modern and contemporary art.

Purvis Young: Redux is presented in part by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

About the Purvis Young collection at the Tampa Museum of Art

In 2004, the Rubell Family Foundation gifted 91 artworks to the Tampa Museum of Art by self-taught artist Purvis Young (American, 1943-2010). The selection of assemblage paintings represents a snapshot of Young’s prolific artistic production. Based in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida, Young created an impressive body of work that numbered in the thousands. He rendered his work from found objects—items he discovered in his neighborhood. Discarded wood, windows, furniture fragments, cabinets, doors, carpet, fabric, string, and cables motivated Young to make art, and he built his compositions with various forms and textures. He constructed his palette—fiery reds, golden yellow, forest green, navy blue, hot pink—from everyday household paints. Although his means were limited, Young was recognized throughout Miami for his remarkable painting practice and his contributions to the cultural landscape of South Florida.

About Purvis Young

Born in 1943 in Miami, Florida, Purvis Young’s mother encouraged her son’s artistic talents. His grandparents immigrated to Miami by boat from the Bahamas and settled in Overtown. Although he did not complete high school, Young educated himself as an adult by watching documentaries and reading. He spent hours at the Miami-Dade Public Library, and books became an important part of his life and work.

As a child, Young enjoyed drawing, however, it wasn’t until adulthood that he embraced painting. He spent hours looking at books filled with imagery by El Greco, Rembrandt, Paul Gaugin, and Vincent van Gogh. In the early 1970s, Young began painting regularly, and he created a visual language reflective of life in Overtown. Although adversity was constant, Young’s neighborhood inspired him, and he strove to paint positive imagery. Angels with halos dominated his work and represented the good he admired in people. He revered pregnant women and holy men and painted this imagery in a range of configurations. While he supported his community, he also acknowledged its struggles.

Young created his magnum opus early in his career. For a short period of time in the 1970s, Young installed his paintings from the ground to the rooftops of abandoned storefronts in his neighborhood. The Wall of Respect in Chicago, a mural that featured heroic black men and women painted at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s, influenced Young. He aimed to replicate the Wall of Respect in Overtown with his powerful, provocative paintings and often overlapped the paintings in an extreme salon-style hang. Titled Goodbread Alley Mural, the project was on view from approximately 1971-74 until the City of Miami started to dismantle the artwork. The installation on view at the Tampa Museum of Art takes inspiration from the Goodbread Alley Mural and features the entirety of the Museum’s Purvis Young collection.

In the late 1990s, Don and Mera Rubell, art collectors based in Miami, befriended the artist and acquired the contents of Young’s studio. In total, they transferred over 3,300 works from his studio to their art warehouse. Since then, they have donated nearly 500 works by Purvis Young to museums and universities across the country. Young died in 2010, and today his work resides in private and public collections across the globe.

Current Exhibitions

Highlights from the Karam Collection

November 11, 2021
through January 15, 2023

Bust of young man holding palm frond
Bust of young man holding palm frond, Stone sculpture, Roman Syria, ca. 2nd-3rd cent. CE. Karam Collection, USF Libraries’ Special Collections, 63

In 1998, Dr. Farid Karam and his wife Jehanne generously donated 149 objects to the Special Collections of the University of South Florida (USF) Libraries. The authentic antiquities originate from ancient Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece and the Arab world. In date, they range from the Bronze Age to the early Islamic period (ca. fifteenth-century BCE – thirteenth-century CE). The metal, stone, glass and ceramic artifacts include cosmetic and medical implements, utility vessels and oil lamps, as well as sculptures and figurines. This presentation of 58 highlights is the first time the Karam Collection of Lebanese Antiquities is on display for the general public. The selection reveals Dr. Karam’s profound interest in the diversity of ancient cultures found in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Learn more about the Karam Collection at the USF Libraries.

About Farid Karam, M.D. 

Farid Karam (1929–2018) was born in a Greek Orthodox village in northern Lebanon. After specializing in plastic surgery in Cleveland, Ohio (1961), he taught medicine at the American University of Beirut Hospital until 1976. Due to the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) he moved to Bay Pines, Florida. In 1992, Dr. Karam was appointed Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. Before returning to Lebanon, where he continued to practice otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery, Dr. Karam donated his antiquities collection to USF. Since 1977, Dr. Karam was a member of the World Scout Foundation headed by King Carl Gustav of Sweden and received the highest medal for life achievements, the Bronze Wolf Medal. Dr. Karam passed away on March 1, 2018, in his hometown in northern Lebanon. 

The Ancient Levant 

The Eastern Mediterranean seaboard, also known as the Levant, which is the region of present-day Syria, Lebanon and Israel, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Some of the oldest cities in world history were founded there. From the Bronze Age, peoples called Canaanites, Phoenicians or Philistines populated the region. The Israelites appeared in the Iron Age. They all spoke Semitic languages. Phoenicians based their wealth on trade – especially purple dye and wine as well as cedar wood and glass. They also contributed their alphabet to the development of ancient civilizations across the Mediterranean. During the early first millennium BCE, Phoenician trade colonies were established across the southwestern Mediterranean, most notably the city of Carthage. The Eastern Mediterranean coast meanwhile came under the successive spheres of influence from Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia and Persia. The Seleucids and Ptolemies, dynasties ruling from Babylon and Egypt respectively, competed for power over the region during much of the Hellenistic period (ca. 323–30 BCE). In 64 BCE, Roman rule was established and for the following four centuries, Syria became one of the richest eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. In the Mediaeval period, the region first came under the influence of the Christian Byzantine empire and then the Muslim Arab world. 

Current Exhibitions

The Classical World

On view July 14, 2018 through September 11, 2022

Black-Figure Eye Cup Greek, Attic (Chalcidizing), ca.
530–520 BC. Ceramic; H. 10 cm. Tampa Museum of Art,
Joseph Veach Noble Collection, purchased in part with funds
donated by Craig and Mary Wood 1986.051.

Supplemented with notable loans from local private collectors, this permanent collection exhibition explores The Classical World across its many centuries and vast geographical spread. Ranging from prehistoric pottery and sculpture from Cyprus, Greece, and Italy (as early as 3000 BCE) to marble sculpture and terracotta from the Roman Empire (as late as the 5th century CE), the exhibition includes a particularly fine assortment of painted pottery. Produced mainly in Greece and South Italy during the sixth, fifth, and fourth centuries BCE, these black-figure and red-figure vases comprise the most noteworthy segment of the Museum’s permanent collection of classical antiquities. Collection objects selected for the exhibition The Making of a Museum: 100 Years, 100 Works are incorporated into the presentation of The Classical World.  

About the Permanent Collection 

The first artwork purchased by the Tampa Museum of Art was an ancient Greek vase in 1981, and this has remained an important area of collecting for the Museum ever since. The Museum’s most notable acquisition of antiquities came five years later, in the form of the Joseph Veach Noble Collection, a significant private collection of more than 150 objects amassed primarily in the 1950s and ‘60s. A collector and scholar interested in the techniques of potters and vase-painters in ancient Greece and South Italy, Mr. Noble had assembled a collection especially strong in painted pottery from those areas. While vases undoubtedly constitute the core of the Noble Collection, Mr. Noble also collected in other media, including two notable large-scale marble statues that have inspired recent exhibitions— the nearly complete Poseidon/Neptune with dolphin on view nearby (and in Poseidon and the Sea: Myth, Cult, and Daily Life, 2014), and the torso of Aphrodite/Venus discovered in 1771 (and featured in Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite, and the Lure of Antiquity, 2018). The Museum continues to add to its antiquities collection, primarily by gift, and always in accordance with the highest ethical standards.