Three students pose for a photo within a gold frame.
Attendees paid homage to one of Lorraine O'Grady’s performances by taking photos of themselves in a gold frame like the ones O’Grady implemented for “Art Is...”
Image credit: Ahana Basu ’25

The Davis Museum is back, featuring the work of Lorraine O’Grady ’55

Photos: Ahana Basu ’25 and Joel Haskell. Text: Shannon O'Brien
February 9, 2024

It was a night of art, joy, and celebration as more than 600 people attended the February 8 opening of the Davis Museum and the launch of Both/And, an exhibition of the work of acclaimed artist Lorraine O’Grady ’55. Many attendees donned white gloves in tribute to one of O’Grady’s iconic performances, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire

Both/And is the first major career survey of O’Grady, who over the last four decades has critiqued issues of race, class, and gender through performance art, collage, photo installation, video, and text. She will return to Wellesley in early March as part of programming at the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities. Faculty and students will use an e-book published in tandem with the exhibition in a variety of classroom capacities. 

Artist Dominique Duroseau performed Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love as part of “Taking the White Gloves Off: A Performance Art Series in Honor of Lorraine O’Grady ’55.” The series continues throughout the semester.

Lorraine O'Grady speaks to an audience during dinner.
“I have been working very hard, from the moment ‘Both/And’ began at the Brooklyn Museum, to shift the emphasis and the discussion around my work from me as a figure, as a person who had an interesting life, to work that is important...from the artist to the work,” O'Grady said to dinner guests. “But I feel that this is the first moment when it’s all come together.”
Photo provided by Joel Haskell
A person stands and looks at a collection of photos hanging on a museum wall. Many people mill around in the background.
More than 600 visitors made their way through the Davis Museum during the reception for “Both/And.”
Photo provided by Ahana Basu ’25
A performance artist is bathed in blue light on stage. She sits in a chair and people sit on the ground around her.
Artist Dominique Duroseau performed “Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love.”
Photo provided by Ahana Basu ’25
A photo from above of people walking through an exhibit at the Davis Museum.
"Both/And” will be on view at the museum until June 2.
Photo provided by Joel Haskell
A grid of photos of hands wearing white gloves.
Many attendees wore white gloves to the event.
Photo provided by Ahana Basu ’25