You are here


September 2, 2022 Through May 28, 2023
In the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Gallery


vanessa german photo
Photo Credit: 

The Rarest Black Woman on the Planet Earth

vanessa german* (b. 1976) is an artist, activist, performer, and poet. THE RAREST BLACK WOMAN ON THE PLANET EARTH is German’s response to the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, an early 20th-century cabinet of curiosities at Mount Holyoke. For the exhibition, german began with a question: how do we decolonize a thing, a museum, a collection? Her answer turned into an emancipatory endeavor—to touch every object in the Skinner collection. In this way, the story of the Skinner Museum is recentered and retold. Visitors to the exhibition will encounter more than a dozen of german’s iconic power figures and other assemblages displayed in her installation MUSEUM OF EMANCIPATORY OBJECTS, created with materials and words gathered from the Mount Holyoke College community. This project commemorates the 75th anniversary of the 1946 Skinner bequest to Mount Holyoke College.

This exhibition is made possible by the Susan B. Weatherbie Exhibition Fund and the Leon Levy Foundation.

*lowercase letters are the preference of the artist

Read more about vanessa german's artistic practice on the Kasmin Gallery website.