Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to Support Angela Davis Exhibition

January 27, 2020

Zimmerli Art Museum to Receive $50,000 Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation

for the Visual Arts


New Brunswick, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University is pleased to be a recipient of a $50,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support the exhibition Angela DavisSeize the Time, which debuts at the Zimmerli in the fall of 2020. It is the first time the museum has received a grant from the funder. The foundation announced its Fall 2019 grant recipients on January 16, with $3.93 million awarded to 46 organizations from 19 states to support their visual arts programs, exhibitions, and curatorial research. This group of grantees was selected from a competitive pool of over 250 applicants, bringing the foundation’s grants total for the fiscal year to $7.94 million, with support going to a total of 92 organizations in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. The foundation’s overall annual grants budget is approximately $14 million.


The mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts ( is the advancement of the visual arts. The foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol's legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the foundation has given over $200 million in cash grants to over 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.


“Angela Davis was a rare, incandescent lightning rod during the turbulent years of the late sixties and seventies,” said Thomas Sokolowski, Director of the Zimmerli Art Museum. “She became an avatar for social and political protest in America and later, internationally. Her keen intelligence enabled her to become the leading essayist for the Black Radical Resistance Movement and this, coupled with her striking appearance, made her the poster child for said movement. This exhibition and accompanying publication mark the 50th anniversary of her false conviction and imprisonment. One cannot imagine the Black Lives Matter phenomenon without her life and work as its textbook. We are gratified for the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for this important historical project.”


Angela DavisSeize the Time examines the significance of the activist’s image and writings as it documents the compelling and layered narrative of her journey through the junctures of race and gender, economic and political policy. Davis came to international attention in 1970, when she was falsely accused of involvement in a deadly shooting and placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. After spending several months as a fugitive, she was arrested in New York City and her image became a tool in an unprecedented international effort to free an incarcerated black woman. Acquitted in 1972, after serving 16 months in prison because she was denied the opportunity to post bail, Davis became a lightning rod for fears and hopes – on the right and the left – about revolutionary change and has remained an active agent of change in the years since.


The exhibition is inspired by a private archive in Oakland, California, which has been compiled and curated by Lisbet Tellefsen. The archive itself is at the center of the exhibition, inviting viewers to re-imagine the construction of the image of Davis as an icon of American oppression, symbol of Black radical resistance, female empowerment, and a threat to the white patriarchal status quo. The collection includes materials produced in a campaign to “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners,” as well as the media that surrounded the campaign and trial: magazines, press photography, court sketches, videos, music, writings, and correspondence. The exhibition also documents her philosophical and activist writings related to freedom, oppression, feminisms, and prison abolition. In addition to the archive and popular culture references, a selection of contemporary art asserts Davis’s significance in a broader narrative that continues into the present.


The exhibition is co-curated by Donna Gustafson, the Zimmerli’s Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs, and Gerry Beegan, Interim Dean and Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, with the assistance of an advisory group of intersectional scholars, artists, activists, and archivists, including Nicole Fleetwood, Daonne Huff, Ericka Huggins, Steffani Jemison, and Lisbet Tellefsen.


This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Fund. Additional support is provided by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment, Voorhees Family Endowment, and donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibitions Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin, Alvin and Joyce Glasgold, Sundaa and Randy Jones, and Heena and Hemanshu Pandya. The accompanying publication is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Class of 1937 Publications Endowment.



The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum houses more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.



Admission is free to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. The museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street (at George Street) on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and select first Tuesdays of the month, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays, as well as the month of August.


PaparazZi Café is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a variety of breakfast, lunch, and snack items. The café is closed weekends and major holidays, as well as the month of August.


For more information, visit the museum’s website or call 848.932.7237.



The Zimmerli’s operations, exhibitions, and programs are funded in part by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment, among others. Additional support comes from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, as well as donors, members, and friends of the museum.


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