Remembering Maurice Berger

It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of Dr. Maurice Berger, chief curator and research professor at UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), who died Sunday, March 22, in Craryville, New York from complications of COVID-19. A path-breaking art historian and curator, Maurice was a fierce advocate for social justice and an exceptionally caring human being. Through his exhibitions and writings, he compelled us to look honestly at issues of race, inequity, and their representations in visual culture.

“Maurice was a beloved member of the UMBC community, one of our most admired and productive scholars,” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. “For many of us, he was even more than that. He was a special colleague and friend. We will always remember him as a brilliant voice for the arts and justice. The UMBC community so admired him because we shared the same values. He believed in the dignity of humankind and the power of art and history to open our eyes.”

Read the entire text of the tribute shared by Scott Casper, dean, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Symmes Gardner, executive director, Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture with the UMBC Community.


We continue to be moved by the many tributes published in honor of our late colleague Maurice Berger and share a selection here that convey the impact of his groundbreaking work:

— ARTnews: ‘An Intellectual Pioneer’: Nayland Blake, Lowery Stokes Sims, and Adrian Piper Remember Maurice Berger

— The New York Times: Maurice Berger, Curator Outspoken About Race, Is Dead at 63

— BmoreArt: Remembering Maurice Berger, a Tirelessly Critical Voice in the Arts

— Art in America: Are Art Museums Racist? Republish of Berger’s 1990 essay with a forward by AiA editors

— Baltimore Sun: Remembering the inspiration, intelligence, energy and joy of cultural critic Maurice Berger

Los Angeles Times: Maurice Berger, 63, curator who explored race, dies of coronavirus complications

ARTnews: Maurice Berger, Historian Who Fearlessly Called Out Art-World Racism, Is Dead at 63


The Jewish Museum: The Jewish Museum Remembers Maurice Berger (1956–2020)

artnet: Art Critic and Curator Maurice Berger, Whose Prescient Work Addressed Representations of Race, Has Died of COVID-19 at Age 63

The Art Newspaper: Maurice Berger, critic and curator, has died of complications from Covid-19, aged 63

MarketWatch: Curator and art critic Maurice Berger kept race at the forefront of American consciousness


Race Stories
Access the complete collection of Maurice Berger’s Race Stories essays via UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture website. The monthly column ran in the NYT Lens section from July 2012 until December 2018.

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Department Represented: 1956 – 2020

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