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Since opening in 2005, the Nasher Museum has been dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art. In this effort, the museum recognizes and supports global artists of extraordinary vision, whose works spark opportunities for deep and thoughtful engagement. The Nasher’s collecting strategy emphasizes works by diverse artists who have been historically underrepresented, or even excluded, by mainstream arts institutions, and maintains a particular focus on artists of African descent. This strategy also includes work by emerging artists, self-taught artists, and outstanding work by artists who live in North Carolina and the South who contribute to the surrounding creative community.

View the most recent additions to the contemporary collection.

Browse the Collection Up Close

The Nasher Museum has joined Google Arts & Culture, which offers virtual experiences of thousands of the world’s great museums. Download the app for free or visit from your desktop and zoom in close to view important works in our collection. The Nasher is excited to have brought many of these artists to Google Arts & Culture for the first time.

Bibliographic Resource

Reading Black Art: A Bibliography is an online resource that will aid in a better understanding of and engagement with work by Black artists in the Nasher Museum collection. It is a non-exhaustive bibliography on art, art history and visual culture of the African Diaspora. This curated selection presents a wide array of instructive texts and will be updated monthly.

Featured Featured Articles

Contemporary Interventions within The Collection Galleries

Works of contemporary art from the Nasher Museum’s collection are on view in Wilson Pavilion, creating new conversations among historical works in The Collection Galleries. An early, breakthrough work by New...


Featured Featured Video

Collecting and Presenting Work by Artists of African Descent

This video documents a lively and critical conversation, “Collecting and Presenting Work by Artists of African Descent,” hosted by the Nasher Museum on February 11, 2016. The panel was moderated by Richard J. Powell, John ...

by Nasher Museum Duration 50m 44s Published

Browse the Modern and Contemporary Collection

Featured Featured exhibition

Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations

September 28, 2019 – March 01, 2020

This exhibition highlights works from the Nasher Museum collection that engage visual and musical rhythm. Rhythm may be expressed through repeated patterns of color, form or movement, or, in other cases, implied sound and ...

Featured Featured exhibition

People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection

September 01, 2018 – January 06, 2019

Since opening in 2005, the Nasher Museum has been dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art centered on diversity and inclusion. The museum’s emphasis is on artists historically underrepresented...

Featured Featured exhibition

People Get Ready: Southern Lens

September 01, 2018 – January 06, 2019

This installation complemented People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection, drawing from the museum’s...

Featured Featured exhibition

John Akomfrah: Precarity

March 29 – September 02, 2018

The Nasher Museum presented Precarity, a new three-channel video installation created by John Akomfrah, a London-based artist and filmmaker. Precarity works with the themes of risk, hybridity and the unfa...

Featured Featured exhibition

Disorderly Conduct: American Painting and Sculpture, 1960-1990

September 21, 2017 – February 28, 2018

The decade immediately following World War II was one of significant artistic achievement in the United States. In the late 1950s, artists took divergent aesthetic paths in reaction to the dominance of Abstract Expressioni...

Featured Featured exhibition

All Matterings of Mind: Transcendent Imagery From the Contemporary Collection

March 02 – August 27, 2017

To transcend is to go beyond, to surpass, to exceed or rise above in extent or degree. Transcendence can be physical, spiritual, emotional or mental and allows for an encounter that defies expectations. The works that were...

Featured Featured exhibition

Odili Donald Odita Murals

August 18, 2015 – August 31, 2021

As part of Nasher10, a celebration of the first decade and beyond, the Nasher Museum commissioned two large-scale murals by abstract painter Odili Donald Odita­. His wall paintin...

Featured Featured exhibition

Barkley L. Hendricks: Works from the Collection

May 14 – July 30, 2017

The Nasher Museum presented Barkley L. Hendricks: Works from the Collection, at the entrance to Wilson Pavillion, as part of The Collection Galleries. American artist Barkley L. Hendricks was a great frie...

National Press for The Contemporary Collection

The Brooklyn Rail Review
Featured Featured exhibition

Reality of My Surroundings: The Contemporary Collection

October 01, 2015 – July 10, 2016

In celebration of the museum’s 10th anniversary, the Nasher Museum presented some of its most significant works from the contemporary collection. Reality of My Surroundings demonstrated the museum’s ongoing commit...

Featured Featured exhibition

Sound Vision: Contemporary Art from the Collection

March 06 – August 03, 2014

The Nasher Museum presented an exhibition of recent acquisitions of contemporary art and other highlights from the collection. Sound Vision: Contemporary Art from the Collection includes paintings, works on paper,...

Featured Featured exhibition

Recent Acquisitions

December 22, 2012 – July 07, 2013

The Nasher Museum presented an installation of important contemporary art that reflects an ongoing focus on global, emerging artists of African descent. The installation, all recent gifts and purchases for the permanent co...

Featured Featured exhibition

Building The Contemporary Collection: Five Years Of Acquisitions

March 10 – August 14, 2011

In its first five years, the Nasher Museum focused on collecting modern and contemporary art with particular emphasis on global, emerging artists of color. Building the Contemporary Collection, in celebration of t...

Featured Featured exhibition

New at the Nasher

July 19, 2007 – July 06, 2008

New at the Nasher, the museum’s first exhibition of contemporary work from the collection, showcased recent acquisitions and loans in a lively two-part installation, on view for an entire year. Visible from the en...

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