Calendar / Type: Archibald Motley

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Book Discussion for Kids: Harlem Summer - 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

With the exhibit Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist in full swing, the Nasher will explore jazz through children’s and young adult literature.  We invite your family to enjoy Harlem Summer, a jazz-era coming-of-age story, with us.  A group discussion of the book will take place at the museum during DPS spring break.


Harlem Summer, by Walter Dean Myers, follows Mark Purvis, a teenager in Harlem in 1925. While Mark would rather play jazz music with his friends, he feels the pressure to get a summer job.  Run-ins with Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Alfred Knopf have Mark elated to meet the great figures of his time. However, his financial reality connects him to gangster Dutch Schultz and complicates Mark’s summer, all as he experiences the frenzy of a jazz musician’s life.


Myers, a Harlem native, has written over 80 children’s books.  The author has received two Newbery Honors and is a five-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award. In 2012, the Library of Congress named Myers the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.  Covering topics from the Harlem Renaissance to modern interpretations of Swan Lake, Myers attributes his prolific writing life to his sheer love of stories. “As a writer, I absorb stories,” Myers says, “and allow them to churn within my own head until I find a way of telling them that fits both my time and temperament.”


Intended for students and their families, this book discussion will be on Wednesday, April 16 at 11 AM.  The conversation will be held in the Archibald Motley exhibition. Copies of Harlem Summer can be purchased at the Nasher Museum Store.  Museum members receive a 10% discount. 


Questions can be directed to Jessica Ruhle at

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Hot Rhythm, 1961. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48.375 inches (101.6 x 122.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Jazz at the Mary Lou - 9:30 PM to 12:00 AM

Make connections to American artist Archibald Motley through an evening of jazz with Duke’s Jazz Studies Program.  This program embraces all things jazz and unites jazz lovers from local communities and Triangle and Triad area campuses in a lively social setting. The evening features live performances by an extraordinary house band under the directorship of professor John Brown and Duke music students or special guest artists.  Refreshments and drinks are served. Co-sponsored by the Duke University Union, the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture and the Duke Jazz Studies Program 


Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, 201 W Union Bldg., Duke’s West Campus

IMAGE: Archibald J. Motley Jr., Hot Rhythm, 1961. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48.375 inches (101.6 x 122.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Poetry Reading with Elizabeth Alexander - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Nasher Museum presents poet, essayist, and playwright Elizabeth Alexander, who will share poems thematically related to paintings on view in Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist. Alexander delivered her poem “Praise Song for the Day” at President Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration, and is the author of five books of poetry and two collections of essays. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and the winner of the first Jackson Prize for Poetry in 2007. Based in New York, Alexander is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies and American Studies Professor of American Studies and English at Yale University.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Beast

The Beast performs - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

African American Music from Spirituals to Hip Hop


Led by Pierce Freelon, hip-hop and jazz quartet The Beast’s performance will tell the story of African American music against the backdrop of art by Archibald Motley. Performing original songs, as well as standards from the spiritual, jazz, and hip-hop canon, The Beast will introduce visitors to their revolutionary new style of music while paying homage to the musicians who came before them.


Gallery Talk at 6 PM; Performance in the lecture hall at 7 PM.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Archibald Motley Film Series: Chicago Rhythm ‘n’ Blues - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Nasher Museum presents a film series to complement the exhibition Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist.  The films are free and open to all. 


The third and final installment of the Archibald Motley film series is a night of “Chicago Rhythm ‘n’ Blues,” with the film Cadillac Records (2008, 108 minutes), a fictionalized account of Chess Records with Beyoncé as Etta James.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Exclusive Supporting Member Tour and Reception - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Special reception to celebrate Sound Vision: Contemporary Art from the Collection with Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art. Details by Invitation. Become a Supporting Member today to enjoy this exclusive offer.