Current Exhibitions

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 – OCTOBER 29, 2023

Produced in partnership with the New Bedford Historical Society, the New Bedford Art Museum presents Through Darkness to Light.

While many books have been written on the subject, there is very little visual documentation of the Underground Railroad. While honoring the historical necessity of the movement’s secrecy, Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad invites visitors to a small glimpse of what the long road to freedom may have looked like for 100,000 enslaved Americans in the years before the Civil War’s end. Over the course of a decade, photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales researched those brave men and women, their collective steps toward liberation, and the complicated paths that led them there—with the hope that visitors might learn more, ask questions, and open dialogue on the subject, all toward better understanding how we all are connected.

This exhibition features unforgettable color photographs, ephemera, and narratives that together begin to tell the story of the Underground Railroad. Princeton University Press has also published a book by Michna-Bales featuring eighty-three photographs along with related documents and stories.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 – DECEMBER 3, 2023

Looking at Black Portraiture is a tightly focused, informal exhibition organized around three major themes, representations of Black Americans by Black artists, the artistic process itself, and finally, how the genre of portraiture , and dissemination of portrait images has changed over time. On display are preparatory drawings, maquettes (small preliminary models) and finished portraits by a select group of intergenerational black artists, John Wilson (1922-2015,) Richard Blake (1943-) and William Kennedy (1987-).

AUGUST 10, 2023 – OCTOBER 29, 2023

Produced in partnership with DATMA and the New Bedford Free Public Library, the New Bedford Art Museum presents Under The Sheltering Sky.

Exhibition-Related Lecture
Spaces of Erasure
October 18, 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Join us for a lecture presented by Peter Macapia. Peter teaches architectural design and political philosophy at Pratt Institute.

Nothing seems more obvious today than the change in our environment. When we think of climate change for example we are thinking of global shifts in environments, at all scales and dependent on fractional displacements of atmospheric variables. In all of this one of the first questions that emerges is where is our proper place?  What space remains that we can occupy, that provides shelter?  And yet, as this lecture will discuss, through a series of historical and political analyses, we are still sorting out the question: what is the difference between the disappearance of space and spaces of erasure?

Peter Macapia is a native of the Pacific Northwest, lives and works in Brooklyn. His work in art, architecture, and philosophy explores geopolitics and space.  He has taught at Columbia University, The New School for Social Research/Parsons, The Southern California School of Architecture, and Pratt Institute, as well as internationally in Paris, Delft, and Tokyo.  He is a visiting critic at Columbia and Yale and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Presidential Fellowship from Columbia University where he received his PhD.  Macapias’s work has been published and exhibited internationally and he is currently working on the origin of witness in ancient Greek law, the concept of force in political philosophy since the 19thcentury, and the problem of justice in the work of Michel Foucault for which he held a seminar at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch.  He currently teaches Architectures of Abolition and Spatial Discourses on Race, Gender, and Sexuality at Pratt.