Rashid Johnson: Hail We Now Sing Joy

Antoine’s Organ

Performances: Antoine’s Organ
Fri: 12:15–1:15 p.m.
Sat: 3–4 p.m.
Featuring local musicians throughout the run of the exhibition

View full schedule

Antoine’s Organ, the largest of the artist’s architectural grid installations ever shown in the United States, is the first work Museum visitors will encounter. The monumental lattice of black scaffolding is filled with books, televisions showing Johnson’s earlier video work, live plants in ceramic vessels that Johnson hand-built and decorated, and mounds of shea butter—all signifying objects inspired by the African diaspora. Within this environment marked by a pleasant and recognizable aroma is an upright piano that musicians will play at scheduled times throughout the exhibition’s run.

Informing all of Johnson’s work, including the materials he uses, from shea butter and black soap to the books in Antoine’s Organ (Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, Deborah Dickerson’s The End of Blackness, and Richard Wright’s Native Son), is Afrocentrism and the artist’s own experience as a black man in America.

Milwaukee Sings

In conjunction with its feature exhibitions Milwaukee Collects and Rashid Johnson: Hail We Now Sing Joy, the Milwaukee Art Museum is collecting voices to create a virtual choir. Everyone is invited to participate. Simply make a video of yourself singing, rapping, or playing an instrument to the song “This Land Is Your Land.” The Museum will collect each entry and merge them together, creating a textured version of the song to play twice a day as the Museum’s “wings” open and close, and on an in-gallery video.

Download lyrics sheet and score

Download piano track

Below are examples of different ways the song can be interpreted.

Thank you for participating in Milwaukee Sings!