Elizabeth Catlett, Black Unity, 1968, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Soul of a Nation

FEBRUARY 3 – APRIL 23, 2018


Soul of a Nation shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists to an important period in American history and art. Featuring the work of 60 artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.

Developed by the Tate Modern in London and debuting in the US at Crystal Bridges, Soul of a Nation examines the influences, including the civil rights movement, Minimalism, and abstraction, on artists such as Romare Bearden, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams.


Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

Soul of A Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (NEW, Hardcover book) $39.95

Some artists, galvanized by the spirit of the civil rights movement, created images that spoke of solidarity, strength, and resistance, while others focused primarily on color, form, and concept. Some works paid homage to legendary African American figures from the period, including political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane, and sports hero Jack Johnson. The variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists and collectives at work during these explosive times.

Crystal Bridges is one of only two American venues to host this important exhibition, described as both powerful, and at times, challenging. Following its debut in Bentonville, the exhibition travels to the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Special Exhibition Drop-In Tour


Meet one of our knowledgeable guides in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery for a 45-minute guided tour of highlights from Soul of a Nation. The tour is free; exhibition ticket is required. Arrive five minutes prior to tour time.

Celebrate the US debut of
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power!

Tickets are sold out; but don’t worry, we will live stream the program for free. There are three ways to watch live:

  • Watch on your own. Check the website the day of.
  • Watch the live stream here at the museum. Reserve a free ticket.
  • Become a live stream host. Register yourself or your organization as a host site and invite friends and family to watch with you. Registration required.*