Abstract artist Helen Frankenthaler in her studio in 1956. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

New exhibitions opening this month at the San Diego Museum of Art celebrate two often overlooked groups of artists: black photographers of the civil rights era and the women of abstract impressionism.

The first exhibit, opening Aug. 24, highlights the work of three prominent black photographers who chronicled the African American community in Southern California during the second half of the 20th century.

Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California” spans 50 years of work by Harry Adams (1918–1988), Charles Williams (1908–1986), and Guy Crowder (1940–2011). Their compelling images document political events as well as the daily life of the black community.

Courtesy San Diego Museum of Art

This exhibition will be on view free to the public in the museum’s Fleming Sr. Gallery, located off the sculpture court adjacent to Panama 66 restaurant.

The second new exhibition, opening Aug. 31, features the often overlooked women of the abstract impressionism movement, which revolutionized art in the aftermath of World War II. Drawn entirely from the museum’s collection, the exhibition features work by Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler and Deborah Remington, as well as the work of contemporary artist Mary Heilmann.

The show “Abstract Revolution” seeks to demonstrate that the masculine lens through which abstraction has been previously understood must be removed.

The museum in Balboa Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.