Conversations with the Director: Gary Tinterow Talks with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and Curator Kanitra Fletcher July 10, 2020

The latest edition of the ongoing series “Conversations with the Director” focuses on the exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power and related social issues, past and present. Gary Tinterow, director, the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is joined by Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; and Kanitra Fletcher, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art at the MFAH.

Darren Walker, Ford Foundation / Kanitra Fletcher, MFAH

The Conversation: Soul of a Nation
The discussion begins with an overview presentation about the exhibition, which explores what it meant to be a Black artist in America over two revolutionary decades, from the era of the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s through the emergence of identity politics in the early 1980s.

As Fletcher told the Houston Chronicle, “These artworks are speaking to issues that happened 50 years ago, but they seem to be speaking to this moment.” This conversation addresses themes and social issues—both past and present—evoked by the work of more than 60 Black artists in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.

Watch the conversation

Darren Walker and the Ford Foundation
In addition to serving as president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker is a member of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reimagining New York Commission and is co-chair of the New York City Census 2020. Guided by a vision of social justice, the Ford Foundation strives for “a world in which all individuals, communities, and peoples work toward the protection and full expression of their human rights; are active participants in the decisions that affect them; share equitably in the knowledge, wealth, and resources of society; and are free to achieve their full potential.” In alignment with its mission, the Ford Foundation underwrote Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, enabling the MFAH to include the exhibition with general admission, which on Thursdays is free.

Watch the free virtual discussion today, and experience Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power at the MFAH, the final venue for the exhibition’s three-year tour. Plan ahead for your visit.

See Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power in the Beck Building through August 30.

“Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” is organized by Tate Modern, London, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Broad, Los Angeles; and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Major support provided by:


Additional generous support provided by:  
The African American Art Advisory Association (5A) at the MFAH