Art Historian & Curator
Maurice Berger was a curator and a writer who used his forceful voice against both overt and subtle racism in the art world and other arenas. Berger spent a lifetime being conscious of how race determines opportunities, attitudes and much more, in his own life and in society at large. His writing exploring those influences was blunt and provocative. There was, for instance, “Are Art Museums Racist?,” a 1990 essay in Art in America. Mr. Berger also wrote of the beauty and honesty he found in the work of the photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks, the documentary photographer Jill Freedman, and many others. Berger earned a bachelor’s degree at Hunter College in 1978 and a Ph.D. in art history at the City University of New York in 1988. Berger also curated exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, the Jewish Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and other New York institutions, in addition to numerous exhibitions at his university in Maryland. His other books include How Art Becomes History (1992), and he wrote countless exhibition catalogs.
“White folks rarely talk about [personal biasis] either among themselves or with their friends of color. It isn’t part of the social contract, and I think it has to become part of the social contract.” Maurice Berger