For Students
Midnight Madonnas, Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Midnight Madonnas
Mixed-media assemblage
14 x 11 x 1 1/2 in.
Photograph by Joshua Nefsky; courtesy of the artist and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

Sambo's Banjo, Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Sambo's Banjo
Mixed-media assemblage
41 x 14 1/2 x 18 in. (banjo case); 6 1/2 x 12 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (watermelon slice)
Collection California African American Foundation, Photograph by Darryl A. Smith; courtesy California African American Museum

Colored, Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Mixed-media assemblage with hand mirror
14 1/2 x 30 x 1 1/2 in.
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Museum purchase made possible by Dr. James and Vivian Curtis and the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund
Photograph by Joshua Nefsky; courtesy of the artist and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY

Touring Exhibitions:

Betye Saar: Extending the Frozen Moment

Betye Saar is widely viewed as one of the most distinguished figures in American art today. Born in 1926 in Los Angeles, she emerged in the 1960s as a powerful figure in the redefinition of African American identity in art and in the making of a socially engaged art. Throughout her career, Saar has injected African American visual histories into mainstream visual culture by blending cultural, political, and spiritual iconography to create complex works with universal impact. This major exhibition surveys the artistic accomplishments of Saar and is the first to focus on the sustained presence of photography—“the frozen moment”—as a defining element that unifies Saar’s career. Saar is best known for her richly evocative assemblages, which incorporate found objects and photographic fragments that reflect her interest in nostalgia, memory, and history and serve as a visual metaphor for the African American experience. Including nearly 60 works dating from 1967 to 2004 drawn from public and private collections nationwide, the exhibition offers fresh perspectives on contemporary art, feminism, and American culture and politics. Organized by UMMA, the exhibition is accompanied by a major book co-published by UMMA and the University of California Press, featuring new scholarship and critical writing on Saar's art.

Exhibition Dates:

University of Michigan Museum of Art
Ann Arbor, MI
October 15, 2005 – January 8, 2006

Norton Museum of Art
West Palm Beach, FL
March 18 – June 4, 2006

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Philadelphia, PA
July 15 – December 10, 2006

Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, CA
January 27 – April 29, 2007

Betye Saar: Extending the Frozen Moment is organized and circulated by the University of Michigan Museum of Art. It is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Henry Luce Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Peter Norton Family Foundation, and other generous donors.

National Endowment for the Arts logo

For further information about UMMA touring exhibitions, please contact Katharine Derosier, Exhibitions Coordinator, by telephone at 734.615.8186 or by email at