‘Young, Gifted and Black’ Opens July 28 at UC Davis Manetti Shrem Museum

1st West Coast Engagement of Survey Traveling Primarily to Colleges and Universities

Neon blue writing on black background
Tavares Strachan, I belong here, 2013. Blue neon and transformers, 22 1/2 x 47 x 1/2 in. (Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery. © Tavares Strachan)

Quick Summary

  • More than 50 contemporary artworks delve into the history and meaning of Blackness

A wide-ranging exhibition that highlights artists of African descent whose work explores identity, politics and art history makes its West Coast debut July 28 at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, at the University of California, Davis.

“Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art” is the first public stand-alone exhibition curated from the renowned Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection. As a key component of collector and advocate Bernard Lumpkin’s public education focus, “Young, Gifted and Black” is traveling primarily to college and university galleries and museums. Initially scheduled to open at the Manetti Shrem Museum in July 2020, but delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be on view July 28 through Dec. 19. “Young, Gifted and Blackis curated by Antwaun Sargent and Matt Wycoff and organized for the Manetti Shrem Museum by Associate Curator and Exhibition Department Head Susie Kantor.

At a Glance: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection

The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection features a range of contemporary artworks in all media. Established and emerging artists of African descent predominate, with a special emphasis on younger voices of the last 25 years and those who have historically been underrepresented in collections, exhibitions and museums. This private collection is spearheaded by Bernard Lumpkin, an art collector, patron, educator and advocate. Lumpkin sits on the board of trustees of the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and serves on committees at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Learn more: https://www.younggiftedblack.com/ or follow @younggiftedblackart on Instagram. The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection is the subject of a bestselling book — Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists (DAP, 2020) — and a nationwide traveling exhibition. 

“Young, Gifted and Black: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art” is on view July 28-Dec. 19, 2022, at the Manetti Shrem Museum.

“Young, Gifted and Black” gathers and elevates an emerging generation of contemporary artists who are engaging with the work of their predecessors while finding different ways to address the history and meaning of Blackness in their work. The group includes well-known artists David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, Henry Taylor and Kara Walker, as well as a younger generation gaining wider recognition, including Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Sadie Barnette, Cy Gavin, Arcmanoro Niles, Jennifer Packer and others. The survey is organized around four themes — dramatic use of color, reclamation of the color black, materiality (nontraditional materials), and an expanded idea of portraiture.

 I belong here, a neon sculpture by Tavares Strachan, is also on loan from the Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Collection. It is installed in the Manetti Shrem Museum’s lobby through March 2023, coinciding with “Young, Gifted and Black.”

“The Manetti Shrem Museum is excited to host this thought-provoking exhibition,” said Founding Director Rachel Teagle. “Not only does it introduce some of the most significant artists working today to UC Davis and the region, but it’s also in keeping with our track record of presenting emerging artists.”

Only five of the artists in “Young, Gifted and Black” are based on the West Coast, including Sadie Barnette, whose exhibition “Dear 1968,…” was at the Manetti Shrem Museum in 2017.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with the Manetti Shrem Museum team in bringing “Young, Gifted and Black” to the West Coast,” said Lumpkin.

“At a time when America is wrestling anew with race and racism, and debates about equality and inclusion in the art world have taken on greater urgency, this exhibition assesses how artists today are shaping the way we think about identity, art and history.” 

Featured artists

Derrick Adams, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Sadie Barnette, Kevin Beasley, Nayland Blake, Jordan Casteel, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Caitlin Cherry, Bethany Collins, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Cy Gavin, Alteronce Gumby, Chase Hall, Allison Janae Hamilton, David Hammons, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Lonnie Holley, Tomashi Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Samuel Levi Jones, Jarrett Key, Deana Lawson, Glenn Ligon, Eric N. Mack, Kerry James Marshall, Troy Michie, Wardell Milan, Narcissister, Arcmanoro Niles, Clifford Owens, Jennifer Packer, Adam Pendleton, Christina Quarles, Andy Robert, Jacolby Satterwhite, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Gerald Sheffield, Lorna Simpson, Sable Elyse Smith, Vaughn Spann, Henry Taylor, Chiffon Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, William Villalongo, Kara Walker, Nari Ward, D’Angelo Lovell Williams, Wilmer Wilson IV and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Visitor Information

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, 254 Old Davis Road, Davis, manettishrem.org


Monday, Thursday & Friday: 11 a.m.– 6 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m – 5 p.m.

Admission is free for all.

Art Wide Open

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, is a contemporary art museum for today, committed to honoring the past and shaping the future while making art accessible and approachable to all. It builds on UC Davis’ legacy of exceptional teaching and practice of the arts to offer engaging experiences, exhibitions and educational programs that reflect and serve the community. The museum shares the university’s core values of innovative research, interdisciplinary experimentation and a commitment to educational programming: It’s a hub of creative practice for thinkers, makers and innovators. One-third of the museum’s 50,000-square-foot space is devoted to instruction, including a 125-seat lecture hall, classroom space and the drop-in Carol and Gerry Parker Art Studio. Opened in November 2016, the museum has earned LEEDv3-NC Platinum status and was recently named one of the 25 Best Museum Buildings of the Past 100 Years by ARTnews.

Media Resources

Media Contact:


Publicity photos and captions available upon request.

Primary Category