Art inspired by lynchings in ‘Shadowlands’ exhibit at Minnesota Museum of American Art


A ghostly tree caught in the glare of headlights at night. A few scattered trees framed by a barbed wire fence in what seems to be a random field. The gnarled branches of a massive oak tree.

Los Angeles artist and academic Ken Gonzales-Day creates these and other images. The story they tell is deeper than the roots of the trees, though.

These trees were used in lynchings.

Gonzales-Day, whose work will be featured in an exhibit titled “Shadowlands” opening Thursday at Minnesota Museum of American Art, is known for his photographs inspired by the history of lynching in California from the 1850s through 1935.

“It’s a very dark topic,” said Christopher Atkins, curator of exhibitions and public programs at the downtown St. Paul museum, which goes by “The M.” “But we don’t want to shy away from topics that are difficult.”

Source: TwinCities Pioneer Press

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