Dawoud Bey, Untitled #25 (Lake Erie and Sky), from Night Coming Tenderly, Black, 2017. Gelatin silver print, 44 × 55 in. (111.8 × 139.7 cm). San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Accessions Committee Fund purchase. © Dawoud Bey.

The Whitney Museum of American Art announced that photographer Dawoud Bey will present the 2021 Walter Annenberg Lecture on the evening of September 14. Bey, whose acclaimed career retrospective An American Project is currently on view at the Museum through October 3, will be joined by Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director. Their conversation will consider Bey’s work, the history of American photography relevant to his own practice, and his ongoing engagement with Black history and memory. Hosted virtually via Zoom, the free event will commence at 6:30 p.m. on September 14.

The annual lecture is given in honor of the late Walter H. Annenberg, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and former ambassador. Past Annenberg Lecture participants include Julie Mehretu (2020 lecture, presented in Spring 2021), Jason Moran (2019), Kara Walker (2018), Catherine Opie (2017), Martha Rosler (2016), and Frank Stella (2015).

Audiences can register for the Zoom livestream on whitney.org.

About Dawoud Bey
Dawoud Bey was born in New York City in 1953 and began his career as a photographer in 1975. Since his first solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979, his work has been featured in exhibitions at numerous institutions worldwide including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Brooklyn Museum; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), Chicago; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among many others.

Bey’s photographs are represented in collections around the globe, and his critical writings on photography and art have appeared in numerous publications and exhibition catalogues. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Bey received the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” fellowship in 2017. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University, and is currently professor of art and a former distinguished college artist at Columbia College Chicago, where he has taught since 1998.

About Dawoud Bey: An American Project
Dawoud Bey: An American Project explores the arc of Bey’s career from 1975 to 2017 through nearly eighty works across eight major series. On view through October 3 at the Whitney, the exhibition features early Harlem portraits, classic street photography, multi-panel studio portraits, and nocturnal landscapes. Reflecting the evolution of Bey’s vision, An American Project examines the artist’s enduring engagement with portraiture, place, and history. The exhibition is co-organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is co-curated by Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator at the Whitney, and Corey Keller, curator of photography at SFMOMA.

Walter Annenberg Lecture
In honor of the late Walter H. Annenberg, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and former ambassador, the Whitney Museum of American Art established the Walter Annenberg Annual Lecture to advance this country’s understanding of its art and culture. Support for this lecture and for public programs at the Whitney Museum is provided, in part, by GRoW @ Annenberg, a philanthropic initiative led by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a Vice President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation; the Stavros Niarchos Foundation; the Barker Welfare Foundation; and by members of the Whitney’s Education Committee.

Exhibition Support

Generous support for Dawoud Bey: An American Project is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Significant support is provided by the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In New York, the exhibition is sponsored by Bank of America.

Generous support is provided by Judy Hart Angelo and the Whitney’s National Committee.

Major support is provided by the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation.

Significant support is provided by The Anne Levy Charitable Trust and Jean L. Karotkin and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support is provided by Susan and Arthur Fleischer, Gregory and Aline Gooding, Renee Harbers and Christopher Liddell, Marina and Andrew Lewin, Wynnell Schrenk, and Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury.