A variety of topics in African American history and culture from the end of the Civil War to the present are addressed in the exhibition “Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters” in the Kruizenga Art Museum at Hope College.

The exhibition, which features 50 artworks, opened to current Hope College ID holders on Tuesday, Aug. 18, and will open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 17.  It will continue through Saturday, Nov. 21.

Admission is free.

“The exhibition is an attempt to provide some historical context for the current Black Lives Matter protests against systemic racism in many areas of American life,” said Charles Mason, who is the director and the Margaret Feldmann Kruizenga Curator of the Kruizenga Art Museum. “We do not pretend that the exhibition offers a comprehensive survey of this important issue, but we hope that the show will lead to contemplation, conversation and ultimately change.”

The 50 pieces in the exhibition, which span 150 years of Black American experience, all belong to the permanent collection of the Kruizenga Art Museum.  “Most of the artworks have been acquired over the past six years as part of the museum’s mission to educate, engage and inspire the communities of Hope College and West Michigan while fostering the qualities of empathy, tolerance and global understanding that are part of Hope College’s mission to provide an outstanding Christian liberal arts education,” Mason said.

“Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters” was organized by the Kruizenga Art Museum and was made possible by donations from several Hope College alumni and other museum supporters, including Dr. Ronald ’62 and Mrs. Gerri Vander Molen, Judith Kingma ‘56 Hazelton, Roberta VanGilder ‘53 Kaye, Dr. Arthur and Mrs. Kristine Rossof, Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Ann Haight, and David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kruizenga Art Museum’s hours and visitor guidelines have changed. The museum is open to current Hope College ID holders on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be open to the general public on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   All visitors to the museum are required to wear masks, and to remain at least 6 feet apart from other visitors and museum staff. Additional information about current museum hours and guidelines is available at hope.edu/kam.

The museum functions as an educational resource for Hope College and the greater West Michigan community. The museum features two public galleries as well as a classroom and climate-controlled storage space for its 5,000-object permanent collection. It is named in honor of a leadership gift from Dr. Richard and Margaret Kruizenga, both of whom graduated from Hope in 1952.  Margaret Kruizenga died in April 2013, and Richard Kruizenga died on August 15 of this year.

The Kruizenga Art Museum is located at 271 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.