From a Black Son to a White Man to a Black Woman and Back Again

Temple Contemporary

2017
$285,000

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Composite image of dolls by artist Trenton Doyle Hancock. Photo courtesy of Temple Contemporary.

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Doll from Trenton Doyle Hancock's collection. Photo courtesy of Trenton Doyle Hancock Studio.

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Installation view, African American Doll Museum. Photo courtesy of Temple Contemporary.

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Doll from Trenton Doyle Hancock's collection. Photo courtesy of Trenton Doyle Hancock Studio.

Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art will commission visual artist Trenton Doyle Hancock to create new work in an exhibition examining the representation of race in the material culture of toy dolls. From a Black Son to a White Man to a Black Woman and Back Again will present a collection of white dolls that Hancock, an African American male, has collected over the past 20 years, alongside black dolls from the Philadelphia African American Doll Museum. A Tyler School of Art alumnus, Hancock will create a new set of dolls based on these two collections and on a cast of characters who reappear throughout his body of work, which includes intricate collaged paintings, prints, and installations. The project’s concept arises from an influential 1930s study involving a “doll test” to investigate the psychological effects of segregation on black children. To advance Hancock’s commitment to supporting young adults of color, Temple Contemporary will establish the Young Curators Council, a paid curatorial mentorship program that will provide access to the artist’s private studio and collection for five selected participants, aged 18-21. An exhibition catalogue will document the newly commissioned work and chart the mentorship participants’ curatorial progress.