A black-and-white sketch of a balding Black man who looks out at the viewer.
April 30–October 23, 2016
Second floor

Identity explores how identity in American culture is often as much about how people present themselves to the world as it is externally determined. Exploring community, celebrity, and individual identity through portraiture from the Carter’s permanent collection, the exhibition highlights the exciting new acquisitions of Sedrick Huckaby’s The 99% and Glenn Ligon’s print series Runaways. Whereas Huckaby engaged with and depicted 101 members of his neighborhood to uncover how their individual personalities were reflective of a larger community identity, Ligon explored the notion that individual identity is often culturally determined. Their works—in combination with prints and photographs of and by public figures such as Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe, statesman Martin Luther King Jr., and painter Georgia O’Keeffe—show the various personas individuals adopt. Together, these portraits represent the fluid and constantly shifting role of identity in society from the 20th to the 21st century.

Get to know what “identity” means to the musical artists on our playlist, developed with suggestions from Carter staff.

Installation Photos

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