“We Wear the Mask: Race and Representation in the Dorsky Museum Permanent Collection” opens Sept. 12

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz announces “We Wear the Mask: Race and Representation in the Dorsky Museum Permanent Collection,” a collection of artwork related to the presentation and perception of race, selected by Hudson Valley artist Jean-Marc Superville Sovak.

We Wear the Mask” will be on view from Sept. 12 – Nov. 22 in the Museum’s Seminar Room Gallery.

Please note: In order to mitigate COVID-19 transmission, The Dorsky Museum is limiting the number of visitors in the galleries at any one time, and requiring visitors to wear face coverings and maintain social distance at all times. Visitors must follow all posted instructions while visiting the Museum. Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry to the Museum.

Combined: Unknown Dan (Mande) artist, Deangle Mask (detail), n.d., gift of Elaine Kniffen, and Carl Van Vechten, Claude Marchant (detail), 1946, gift of Howard Greenberg

About the Exhibition
Taking its title from a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, “We Wear the Mask” stages the contradictions inherent in representations of race and in American culture as a whole, as exemplified by the Dorsky Museum Permanent Collection.

The exhibition juxtaposes 19 works and artifacts selected from among the more than 6,000 objects in the Permanent Collection. These artworks span nearly 3,000 years, from ancient Egyptian funerary figures to polaroid photographs by Andy Warhol, to produce a trans-historical, multi-cultural “remixing.”

“We Wear the Mask” seeks a third space of meaning to better represent and understand racial diversity in this moment of cultural and political reckoning.

About the Curator
Jean-Marc Superville Sovak is a multidisciplinary artist based in the Hudson Valley whose work deeply involves the community around him. In 2019, several prints from his “a-Historical Landscapes” series were exhibited in the Dorsky Museum exhibition “Madness in Vegetables: Hudson Valley Artists 2019” and were added to the Museum’s Permanent Collection via the Hudson Valley Artists Annual Purchase Award. Two of these artworks are on display just outside the gallery in the Exhibitions Corridor.

Unknown Ethiopian, Madonna and Child with Two Angels, n.d., collection the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, 1985.005.049

About The Dorsky Museum
Through its collections, exhibitions and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art supports and enriches the academic programs at the College and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums in the SUNY system. Since its official dedication in 2001, The Dorsky has presented more than 100 exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann and Ushio Shinohara.