Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) proudly presented the first career retrospective of Barkley L. Hendricks, a Philadelphia native and PAFA alumnus. Hendricks has received acclaim for his life-sized portraits of people of color. Having come of age in the Civil Rights era and the Black is Beautiful movement, Hendricks created cool, empowering, and sometimes confrontational images that explore the complexity of black identity.

During the course of the exhibition, Hendricks presented a public lecture and critiqued current students' work at PAFA. The exhibition was accompanied by an array of programs, a lecture by curator Trevor Schoonmaker, as well as a symposium.

Curator: The exhibition originated at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in 2008, curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, and then traveled to the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Following PAFA, the exhibition concludeed at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art at PAFA
Dates: October 17, 2009 - January 3, 2010
Location: Fisher Brooks Gallery, Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building


The exhibition is sponsored in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and the North Carolina Arts Council with funding from the State of North Carolina.

Funding for the tour of the exhibition has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. Additional support provided by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grant through the National Endowment for the Arts, Mr. & Mrs. Harold Sorgenti, the Edna W. Andrade Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, the Lomax Family Foundation, and StoneRidge Investment Partners, LLC.
Media support provided by The Philadelphia Tribune.