New Online: “Hammer Museum Launches Digital Archive with ‘Now Dig This!’ Exhibition About Black Artists in Los Angeles”
The Hammer Museum has breathed new life into one of its most dynamic and historically significant exhibitions. “Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980” explored a robust period in the city’s history when a pioneering group of African American artists established an influential creative community and produced important works commenting on the state of culture, politics and identity. The exhibition featured 140 works by 36 artists, including Charles Gaines, David Hammons, Maren Hassinger, Samella Lewis, Senga Nengudi, John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, and Betye Saar, practitioners motivated in part by the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the passage of federal anti-descrimination legislation.
A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of its Made in L.A. biennial, the Hammer Museum re-introduced “Now Dig This!” in a new format. With support from a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, the museum has launched a digital archive, making available videos of artist talks and panel discussions, artist biographies, images of artworks presented,installation views of the exhibition at the three venues where it appeared, and all eight essays published in the now-out-of-print exhibition catalog (at right), among other material.
With the $500,000 Mellon grant received in 2013, the museum expanded its curatorial team, hiring a project manager for digital archives to oversee the initiative, which includes research and infrastructure development to content creation and dissemination. “Now Dig This!” is the first of a selection of Hammer exhibitions—major shows that involved significant curatorial research and a coinciding catalogue—that will receive similar treatment and be documented in the digital archive.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.