Emory Douglas: Black Panther & Printmaker for Social Change

emory-mocaEmory Douglas: Black Panther will be open at the New Museum in NYC until October 18th, 2009. Regardless of your take on the politics of the Black Panther Party one can’t help but be taken in by the powerful graphics Emory Douglas produced during his tenure as Minister of Culture.  It’s interesting to note that the exhibition was curated by artist Sam DurantLaura Hoptman, the Kraus Family Senior Curator (with Amy Mackie, Curatorial Assistant) do a excellent job summarizing the context of the exhibition:

Emory Douglas was the Revolutionary Artist of the Black Panther Party and subsequently became its Minister of Culture, part of the national leadership. He created the overall design of the Black Panther, the Party’s weekly newspaper, and oversaw its layout and production until the Black Panthers disbanded in 1979–80. Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Douglas made countless artworks, illustrations, and cartoons, which were reproduced in the paper and distributed as prints, posters, cards, and even sculptures. All of them utilized a straightforward graphic style and a vocabulary of images that would become synonymous with the Party and the issues it fought for.

“Emory Douglas: Black Panther” includes a wide variety of Douglas’s work done while a member of the Black Panther Party. Curated by the Los Angeles artist Sam Durant, whose work often deals with political and cultural subjects in American history, the show includes approximately 165 posters, newspapers, and prints dating from 1967–76. Durant met Emory Douglas in 2002 and began working on a book of Douglas’s work, which resulted in a monograph published in 2007. Two years later Durant curated “Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which serves as a model for the exhibition at the New Museum.


Here are some installation shots of the exhibition Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas at it’s first original venue, LA MOCA. While not exactly the same show at the New Museum this should give you a sense of the type of work on display.

black-panter-emory-douglas12And if you aren’t able to make it to either coast to see this great show of 20th century agitprop poster-making, you can always buy the book.

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Categories: Artists, Exhibitions, Interesting Printmaking

One Response to “Emory Douglas: Black Panther & Printmaker for Social Change”

  1. jendanderson says:

    I think The Center for The Study of Political Graphics is loaning several prints from their collection to this exhibition. A great interview with Carol Wells, the founder and director of CSPG is at