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Busch-Reisinger Museum Lecture—Black Expression: From “Milli” to Nelly

A black and white image of a woman looking at a painting of a nude female figure.
Natasha A. Kelly, from her documentary film Milli’s Awakening (2018). Credit: Anh Trieu, Henning Fehr, and Philipp Rühr.


Harvard Art Museums, Menschel Hall, Lower Level
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Acclaimed Black German academic, artist, and activist (“academic artivist”) Natasha A. Kelly is best known for her multimedia projects focusing on Black German women. One installment of her series is about “Milli,” the Black model of German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, who was active in the early decades of the 20th century.

In this lecture, Kelly will present and discuss her recent work, which has been featured at the 10th Berlin Biennale, the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, and the Kunsthalle Bremen, among other venues. The lecture is an artistic and academic reflection on the social context of German Expressionism from a Black feminist perspective. Decolonizing the Black female body allows for a critique of ongoing coloniality and injustices often centered on migration, racism, and national identity.

Free admission, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations may be arranged by clicking on the event on this form beginning Monday, March 13, after 10am.

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Doors will open at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance.
Limited complimentary parking is available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Please review our general visitor policies, including details on COVID-related precautions.

The Busch-Reisinger Museum Lectures, sponsored by the German Friends of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, present important speakers on topics of central and northern European art. In addition, modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.