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California African American Museum

California African American Museum
600 State Drive
213-744-7432

Mission Statement

To research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on California and the western United States.


Upcoming Events at California African American Museum

Exhibition - April Bey: Atlantica, The Gilda Region

Thursday, Sep 16, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch

Thursday, Sep 16, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch

Friday, Sep 17, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - April Bey: Atlantica, The Gilda Region

Saturday, Sep 18, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch

Saturday, Sep 18, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch

Sunday, Sep 19, 2021 from 11:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - April Bey: Atlantica, The Gilda Region

Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Exhibition - Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch

Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Los Angeles, CA
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Recent News

California African American Museum Newsletter - September 2021

Click here to view the California African American Museum Newsletter - September 2021

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KCRW Summer Nights at CAAM Postponed

As you may have heard, KCRW has decided to postpone their first three Summer Nights events, including the one that was to be held at CAAM this Friday, July 30, due to the rise of the Delta variant in L.A. County. Like many of you, we were…

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California African American Museum Newsletter - May 2021

We are open! After being closed for more than a year, it's a joy to welcome visitors back to CAAM. Please click this "get tickets" link to make your free reservation, as well as to learn about the new health and safety precautions in place. …

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California African American Museum to Reopen from March 27, 2021!

This has been a trying year for Californians, our local community, and for people across the globe. We mourn the losses of family and friends, and also recognize the many other kinds of hardships endured due to the pandemic. At the same…

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California African American Museum Happenings for January ,2021

Happy New Year from your friends at CAAM! We're reflecting on 2020, continuing to hunker down, and looking forward to being with you in the future. Every January on the third Monday of the month we mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day at CAAM—it…

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California African American Museum Happenings for November 2020

Click here to view the California African American Museum Happenings for November 2020

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California African American Museum Happenings for October 2020

Click here to view the California African American Museum Happenings for October 2020

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California African American Museum Happenings for September 2020

Click Here to view the California African American Museum Happenings for September 2020.

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California African American Museum Happenings for August 2020

Click Here to view the California African American Museum Happenings for August 2020.

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California African American Museum Newsletter - July 2020

As you may have heard, the State of California is requiring museums and some other kinds of indoor venues in Los Angeles County and eighteen other counties to remain closed at this time. This is tough news for everyone. Here at CAAM we have been…

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California African American Museum Newsletter, June 2020

Earlier this week, we posted the following words to all of our social media channels, but know many of you may be reading them here for the first time: “CAAM was founded in 1977 to research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public…

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California African American Museum Newsletter, May 2020

As you well know, resilience and creativity are nothing new to black folks! Rather, they are hallmarks of our history, reflected in our art, our fashion, and every aspect of the culture. In that spirit, CAAM is marshaling our resources to continue…

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California African American Museum Newsletter, April 2020

As together we face these uncertain times, the staff of the California African American Museum has been busy creating new ways to continue to fulfill our essential mission: to share with you the history, art, and culture of African Americans,…

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CAAM is Temporarily Closed to the Public through March 31, 2020

In the interest of protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff and visitors, and pursuant to the latest social distancing guidelines to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, CAAM is temporarily closed to the public through March 31. …

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A message Regarding COVID-19

Pursuant to the California Department of Public Health’s latest social distancing guidelines to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19,CAAM’s public programs, rentals, and group tours through March have been cancelled or postponed…

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California African American Museum Programs for December 2019

Click Here to view the California African American Museum Programs for December 2019.

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Exhibition - The Liberator: Chronicling Black Los Angeles, 1900–1914 At California African American Museum

Curated by: Tyree Boyd-Pates, History Curator and Program Manager, Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant History Curator, and Arianne Edmonds, Founder of the J.L. Edmonds Project. The Liberator was an early 20th-century newspaper that documented the…

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Exhibition - Plumb Line: Charles White And The Contemporary At California African American Museum

Curated by: Essence Harden, Independent curator, And Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor of African American Studies At The University Of California At Berkeley. A prolific painter, printmaker, muralist, draftsman, and photographer whose career…

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Exhibition - Adia Millett: Breaking Patterns At California African American Museum

Curated by: Mar Hollingsworth, Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager In Breaking Patterns, Oakland based artist Adia Millett delves into issues of identity, personal memory, and collective history. She cycles her evocative imagery through a…

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Exhibition - Gary Simmons: Fade To Black at CAAM

Curated by: Naima J. Keith, CAAM Deputy Director and Chief Curator Artist Gary Simmons - who received his MFA at CalArts in 1990 and recently returned to Los Angeles - references film, architecture, and American popular culture in paintings and…

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Exhibition - California Bound: Slavery On The New Frontier, 1848–1865 At California African American Museum

Curated by: Tyree Boyd-Pates, History Curator and Program Manager, and Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant History Curator California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848–1865 examines California’s underrecognized involvement with…

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Exhibition - Los Angeles Freedom Rally, 1963 At California African American Museum

Curated by: Tyree Boyd-Pates, History Curator and Program Manager, and Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant History Curator On May 26, 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed nearly 40,000 people at Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles. Coined…

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Exhibition - The Notion Of Family At California African American Museum

Curated by: Vida L. Brown, Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager In The Notion of Family, artworks from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries chart a trajectory of African American family and togetherness over generations. In a selection…

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Exhibition - Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush At California African American Museum

Curated By: Marshall N. Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art Nina Chanel Abney is at the forefront of a generation of artists that is unapologetically revitalizing narrative figurative painting. As…

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Exhibition - Robert Pruitt: Devotion At California African Museum

curated by: Mar Hollingsworth, Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager Houston born, New York based artist Robert Pruitt has worked in a variety of media for more than a decade. Through drawing, sculpture, animation, and photography, he…

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Exhibition - Gary Simmons: Fade To Black At California African American Museum

Gary Simmons: Fade To Black Artist Gary Simmons who received his MFA at CalArts in 1990 and recently returned to Los Angeles references film, architecture, and American popular culture in paintings and drawings that address race, class, and…

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Exhibition - How Sweet The Sound: Gospel Music In Los Angeles At California African Museum

How Sweet The Sound: Gospel Music In Los Angeles How Did Los Angeles Become A Hub Of 20th-Century Gospel Music. With Vintage Artifacts And Photographs, Memorabilia, And Other Fascinating Ephemera, How Sweet The Sound Explores This Facet Of Los…

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Exhibition - Nicole Miller: Athens, California At California African American Museum

Nicole Miller: Athens, California Southern California based artist Nicole Miller works with film, video, and sculpture to explore themes including subjectivity, self representation, and agency, especially as they relate to African American…

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Exhibition - Charting the Terrain: Eric Mack and Pamela Smith Hudson At California African American Museum

Charting the Terrain: Eric Mack and Pamela Smith Hudson In Charting the Terrain new and recent works by Atlanta-based artist Eric Mack and Los Angeles-based artist Pamela Smith Hudson offer nuanced, abstract perspectives on the West Coast…

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Exhibition: Adler Guerrier: Conditions And Forms For Blck Longevity At California African American Museum

Adler Guerrier: Conditions And Forms For Blck Longevity curated by: Diana Nawi, independent curator Adler Guerrier (b. 1975, Port - au - Prince) is best known for his work in photography and printmaking that explores the poetics and politics of…

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Exhibition: Shinique Smith: Refuge At California African American Museum

Shinique Smith: Refuge curated by: Essence Harden, independent curator For more than a decade, multimedia artist Shinique Smith has employed new, used, and personal recycled clothing, fabrics, and objects - items that exist in the realm of what we…

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Exhibition: Lezley Saar: Salon Des Refuses At California African American Museum

Since the 1990s, Lezley Saar has worked with paint, fabric, photographs, and found objects to investigate issues such as hybridity, identity, and acceptance. Her oeuvre, which employs a distinctive visual vocabulary, is multilayered in terms of…

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Exhibition: We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 At California African American Museum

Curated by: Catherine Morris, Sackler Family Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art. CAAM's presentation is organized by…

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Exhibition: Trouble Every Day: LA 1965/1992 At California African American Museum

Music has always been an integral part of the African American experience. Documentaries on the Civil Rights Movement frequently highlight important albums and concerts, and for many people, listening to jazz, R and B, and hip - hop has animated…

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Exhibition: No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992 At California African American Museum

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the LA Uprising, CAAM presents No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992, an exhibition that examines one of the most notorious episodes of urban unrest in American history. On March 3, 1991, Rodney King led the…

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Exhibition: Paperworks: Selections From The Permanent Collection At California African American Museum

Paperworks: Selections from the Permanent Collection focuses on works on paper produced from 1800-2000 and includes figurative, impressionistic, and abstract styles. The exhibition showcases the radically diverse range of works on paper created by…

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Exhibition: Derrick Adams: Network At California African American Museum

Caam presents the work of New York - based multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams, who creatively employs collage, sculpture, video, installation, and performance to examine how television and media shape contemporary culture. Images of classic…

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Exhibition: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced At California African American Museum

In The Evanesced, drawings and a performance by California - based artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle bring attention to a painful subject: missing black women in America and the African diaspora, from history to the present day. Hinkle's abstract 'un -…

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Exhibition: The Ease Of Fiction at California African American Museum

In The Ease of Fiction, works by four contemporary African artists living in the United States serve as a foundation for a critical discussion about history, fact, and fiction. Recent paintings, drawings, and sculptural works by ruby onyinyechi…

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Exhibition - Genevieve Gaignard: Smell The Roses at California African American Museum

CAAM presents the first museum exhibition of the work of Los Angeles artist Genevieve Gaignard, who deftly uses installation, photographic self-portraiture, and sculpture to explore race, femininity, and class—and their various intersections. The…

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Exhibition - Politics, Race, And Propaganda: The Nazi Olympics, Berlin 1936 at CAAM

For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship masked its racist, militarist character while hosting the Olympic Games. To divert attention from its anti-Semitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games…

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Exhibition - Taking Place: Selections From The Permanent Collection at CAAm

For centuries artists have rendered landscapes—both real and imagined—to consider issues of history, belonging, disenfranchisement, and more. Landscapes can bear witness to stories from the past and offer powerful lessons in the present. Taking…

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Exhibition - Hank Willis Thomas: Black Righteous Space at California African American Museum

Over the last decade, the American artist Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976) has become known for powerful works that explore issues of identity, media, race, and popular culture. Often appropriating and re-contextualizing common symbols and objects,…

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Exhibition: Oh Snap! West Coast Hip Hop Photography at California African American Museum

Oh Snap! West Coast Hip Hop Photography presents a focused selection of photographs that explore one of the most influential musical genres and cultural movements of the last quarter century: Hip Hop. Centering on the unique style developed on the…

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Exhibition - Reflections on the Self: Selections from the Permanent Collection at California African American Museum

Reflections on the Self illustrates the breadth of mediums and approaches that artists have used to depict the human form. From lifelike resemblance to more abstract gestures, the complexities of the human face and body have engaged generations of…

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Exhibition - Evolution Of The Revolution

Evolution of the Revolution is an immersive, multi-media installation created by Surreal Box Cinema, an artistic duo formed by Lynn Rossi (photographer/set designer) and Nichelle Evans (set designer/conceptual artist). Evolution of the Revolution…

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Exhibition - The African Legacy In Central America

The African Legacy In Central America: Tony Gleaton's Photographs from CAAM's Collection. This exhibition displays 20 black and white photographs from CAAM's Permanent Collection. The images examine aspects of the African Diaspora in several…

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Exhibition - Toward Freedom

A Photo Exhibition of the Beta Israel Community in Israel and the Ethiopian Community in Los Angeles Acclaimed photojournalist Irene Fertik shares a decade of images of Ethiopian communities establishing themselves in the environs of Israel and Los…

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Exhibition - Coloring Independently

Coloring Independently: 1940’s African American Film Stills from the Collection of the California African American Museum At a challenging time of segregation in the fall of 1913, a virtuoso cast of African American performers led by famed…

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Exhibition - Hard Edged: Geometrical Abstraction And Beyond

Hard Edged illustrates the rich interplay of tradition, innovation, and individual talent among a group of forty-six visual artists of African descent for whom geometrical abstraction is their choice of expression. Through their abstractions, these…

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Exhibition - Shared Otherness

The California African American Museum (CAAM) and the USC Gayle Gamer Roski School of Art and Design are pleased to present Shared Otherness, an exhibition featuring the work of USC Roski students. This is the second such collaboration between USC…

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Exhibition - Metaphors Charles Dickson

Charles Dickson is a prolific artist who is widely known as a public artist with the ability to create studio works ranging from assemblage, functional art and sculptures using various materials such as wood, found objects, metal, and glass. During…

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Exhibition - Hard Edged:Geometrical Abstraction And Beyond

Hard Edged illustrates the rich interplay of tradition, innovation, and individual talent among a group of forty-six visual artists of African descent for whom geometrical abstraction is their choice of expression. Through their abstractions, these…

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Exhibition - Flash Tag

Flash Tag is a creative engagement project that invited “graffiti” artists, more specifically four crews comprised of well-known and highly respected street artists, to transform and populate the walls of an empty gallery. However, the artists…

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Exhibition - Light Catchers

Light Catchers was originally conceived and curated by photographer Irene Fertik in 1997, funded by a grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The exhibition features the work of seven veteran African American photographers active…

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Exhibition - CAAM Courtyard Series: From Women's Hands

CAAM Courtyard Series: From Women’s Hands features the art of five women of color who address female presence and agency. These artists have filled our Courtyard with large installations that, though widely varying in materials and style, have in…

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Exhibition - A Memoir in Movement: Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder

This exhibition selectively surveys over half a century of the prodigious artistic output of Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder as actors, dancers, choreographers, teachers, directors, musicians, collectors and designers. It is filled with…

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Exhibition - Hands On Design

The California African American Museum presents a Courtyard showcase of design-based artwork by students of the Design Area at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. Guided by a team of curators and designers invested in the mission of CAAM and the…

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Exhibition - Soul Stirring

African American Self-Taught Artists from the South he late, renowned, self-taught artists honored in this important exhibition created stirring artworks with a variety of media. Leroy Almon imbued his carvings with devout faith; Sam Doyle painted…

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The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art: Works On Paper

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection exhibition is one of the most comprehensive traveling exhibitions ever organized featuring works on paper by African-American artists from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The 69 works in the exhibition…

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Exhibition - Things That Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive

"Things that Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive" is a multi-faceted effort that explores Mendive's visual and performance work. This exhibition is a newly-produced, career-spanning overview, while emphasizing the artist's mature…

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Photos