Ashley Bryan & Langston Hughes: Sail Away

September 30, 2022 through January 22, 2023

Throughout his long life and career, the artist Ashley Bryan created and illustrated children’s books that celebrated Black life and Black creativity. This exhibition focuses on his 2015 book Sail Away, in which Bryan paired poems by Langston Hughes on the subject of water—oceans, seas, rivers, and rainstorms—with his own vibrant cut-paper collages. The original collages, now in the Morgan’s permanent collection, will be joined by paintings, prints, photographs, recordings, and some work in unusual formats, such as Bryan’s puppets made from sea glass, shells, and other found materials, to explore the conversation between these two great Black artists and the role of seas and rivers in their work.

Listen to audio guide

Ashley Bryan and Langston Hughes: Sail Away is made possible by the Lucy Ricciardi Family Exhibition Fund, Agnes Gund, and the Caroline Morgan Macomber Fund, with support from Mo and Anjali Assomull, The Lunder Foundation – Peter and Paula Lunder Family, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, and Dian Woodner.

Ashley Bryan, The Negro Speaks of Rivers (from Sail Away), 2015. The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of the Ashley Bryan Center, 2021.25:17. © 2015 The Ashley Bryan Center. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Related Programs