Transatlantic, 2003, Mixed media on wood, 80 x 102 x 2 1/2 in., General Purchase Fund Right: Kara Walker, Confederate Prisoners Being Conducted from Jonesborough to Atlanta, 2005, Offset lithography and silkscreen on Somerset Textured paper, 39 × 53 in., Stephen B. Lawrence and Bette Batchelor Memorial Acquisition Funds

NBMAA Mission

The NBMAA engages and enriches a broad public to explore and understand the unfolding story of America through its art and history. We collect, preserve, and present the finest examples of American art, fulfilling an educational role through dynamic exhibitions, publications, and programs that illuminate our nation’s diverse heritage and artistic advancements.

NBMAA Vision

As the nation’s first dedicated American art museum, the NBMAA welcomes everyone to explore the past, present, and future through artistic practice. We represent multidimensional American perspectives to promote free expression, cultural exchange, and personal and collective growth.

NBMAA Equity Statement

Recognizing the racial tensions that exist in our country today, the NBMAA is compelled to confront the bias and inequity that has long existed in our own community, culture, and institution. The NBMAA is committed to fulfilling its mission to tell the “unfolding story of America through its art and history” by including narratives of underrepresented cultures, viewpoints, and artists in our permanent collection, acquisitions, exhibitions, and educational programming. Through critical review of our board, leadership, staffing and volunteer opportunities, we will strive to be a better reflection of the community we serve.

Staff Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion (DEAI) Task Force Mission Statement

The Task Force will work with NBMAA leadership, staff, and volunteers to increase diversity, equity, access, and inclusion across the organization. We will help guide our collections, acquisitions, educational programs, marketing communications, and staffing practices to better reflect the diverse community we serve as well as expand on the narrative of what “American” art is.

We must create a workplace that is free from racism and bias, so that all staff feel welcomed, valued, and safe. The taskforce will work to ensure the NBMAA is a safe space for all employees, where their diverse viewpoints and experiences are considered, discussed, and celebrated. Where staff feel empowered to discuss their individual experiences to inform and transform the NBMAA into a fully inclusive workplace, free from fear of retaliation or inappropriate censure.


Celebrate Martin Luther King
2020 Census

Center for Racial Justice
For Freedoms
CT Voter Registration

Movement for Black Lives (M4BL)
Race Forward: What is Systemic Racism?
Ava DuVernay's 13th
Moral Monday CT
13 Children's Books About Race and Diversity


The NBMAA serves to amplify the voices of artists within our community; find further readings and statements from artists responding to ongoing issues of racial injustice and inequality.

Artist Titus Kaphar's recent Time magazine cover and accompanying statement.

Kara Walker's recent essay published in Frieze: Kara Walker on the Post-Lockdown World.

NBMAA interview with NEW/NOW artist Shantell Martin

Reflections on Juneteenth-The New Yorker, Hyperallergic

Betye Saar, whose Liberation, is to be featured in NBMAA exhibition Some Day is Now: Women, Art, & Social Change has been one of the voices calling for Quaker Oats’ retirement of the “Aunt Jemima” brand: Hyperallergic, Art News, Artnet News

WNPR Where We Live-A Conversation With Poet Jericho Brown

The Arts Fuse-Visual Arts Review: The Art of Kara Walker — A Mix of Cozy Charm and Historic Horror

New York Times-A Rush to Use Black Art Leaves the Artists Feeling Used