The Knoxville Museum of Art proudly presents Radcliffe Bailey: Passages, on view August 12-November 6, 2022. An opening reception will take place on Friday, August 12, from 5:30-7:30pm, with the artist in attendance. This free event is open to the public and will immediately precede the finale of the museum’s 2022 Alive After Five concert series featuring contemporary violinist Brooke Alford. Free to KMA members, $20 for non-members.

“We had to delay this ambitious exhibition for several years because of the pandemic,” says Executive Director David Butler, “and we’re proud that we can finally bring this broad sampling of Radcliffe Bailey’s visionary work to the Knoxville community.  He addresses ancestral memory, cultural identity, and his own personal history in ways that will profoundly move and engage you.” 

The selection featured in Passages reflects the broad scope of Radcliffe Bailey’s studio practice and the multiple levels on which the artist’s works convey meaning. His hybrid creations offer diverse points of entry into compelling narratives that are personal yet far-reaching. Evocative and physically complex, they appear like talismans, shrines, reliquaries, guideposts, and portals offering direction and prompting reflection. Open-ended and wide-ranging, they remain enigmatic despite the presence of layered imagery implying a variety of possible interpretations. Each stands as a testament to the persistence of identity and memory and as an enduring message whose affirmative spirit promises to transcend the painful legacy of cultural erasure.

Additional Radcliffe Bailey: Passages events include:

Family Fun Day
​Saturday, August 27, 2022, 11:00am-3:00pm
Free and open to the public.      

Cocktails & Conversation with Radcliffe Bailey
Thursday, September 22, 2022, 6:00pm
Free and open to the public. Registration requested. Cash bar and light refreshments.

The Knoxville Museum of Art gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Emerson and The Guild of the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates East Tennessee’s rich, diverse visual culture and its connections to the wider currents of world art. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World's Fair Park. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am–5 pm, and Sunday, 1 pm-5 pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Sarah Kaplan at 865.934.2034 or visit

About the Artist Born 1968 in Bridgeton, New Jersey, Radcliffe Bailey was raised in Atlanta, where he lives and works today. Forthcoming public art installations include work commissioned by the City of Atlanta, as part of the Renew Atlanta Public Art Program; the Freedom Cornerstone, commissioned by the City of Greensboro, North Carolina; and a commission by Philadelphia Contemporary. Recent solo exhibitions include Ascents and Echoes and Travelogue at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Pensive, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, which traveled to the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston; Radcliffe Bailey: Recent Works, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; and Memory as Medicine at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Bailey’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; the Denver Art Museum; and the High Museum of Art, among many others.