Howard Smith: paper-cut on handmade paper 1983

Howards’ works on display in the US

May 22, 2024

National Nordic Museum in Seattle is featuring ten works of Howard Smith in the exhibition Nordic Utopia? African Americans in the 20th Century

During the 20th century, African Americans visited, performed, studied, and lived in the Nordic countries for a variety of reasons: a sense of adventure, love, seeking educational and occupational opportunities, freedom to explore their sexuality, freedom from Jim Crow segregation back home, among many other reasons. Drawing from paintings, photographs, textiles, film, music, and dance, this exhibition captures their journeys as their sense of who they were was transformed through their Nordic encounters.

Nordic Utopia? African Americans in the 20th Century illuminates the untold story of African American visual and performing artists, such as Doug Crutchfield, Herb Gentry, Dexter Gordon, William Henry Johnson, Howard Smith, and Walter Williams, who sought new possibilities, inspiration, and environments in the Nordic countries as an alternative to Paris. This exhibition is the first comprehensive examination of this topic.

Nordic Utopia? is curated by Dr. Ethelene Whitmire, Professor, University of Wisconsin—Madison; with Leslie Anne Anderson, Chief Curator, National Nordic Museum. The exhibition is organized by the National Nordic Museum, Seattle.

March 23 – July 21, 2024

« back to news