Devin Allen. You Can't Raid the Sun. 2020. Collection of the artist © Devin Allen

The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century


This groundbreaking exhibition examines the resounding impact hip hop has had on contemporary art and culture across the past 20-plus years.

The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century captures the extraordinary influence of the movement, which has driven innovations in music, visual and performing arts, fashion, and technology and grown into a global phenomenon since its emergence in the 1970s. The exhibition features approximately 70 objects by both established and emerging artists, design houses, streetwear icons, and musicians working in a wide range of media to demonstrate hip hop’s proliferation from the street to the runway, the studio to the museum gallery, and countless sites in between. The exhibition also explores how hip hop has and continues to challenge structures of power, dominant cultural narratives, and political and social systems of oppression.


Co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM), the exhibition is co-curated by Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director; Gamynne Guillotte, the BMA’s Chief Education Officer; Hannah Klemm, SLAM’s Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; and Andréa Purnell, SLAM’s Audience Development Manager.

The Culture is further supported by an advisory committee comprising experts and artists across a wide range of disciplines, including Martha Diaz, Founder and President of the Hip-Hop Education Center; Wendel Patrick, professor at the Peabody Music Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University; Tef Poe, rapper and activist; Hélio Menezes, anthropologist and curator of Afro-Atlantic Histories; and Timothy Anne Burnside, public historian and Museum Specialist in Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The presentation in Baltimore is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund.