The William Grant Still Arts Center proudly presents The 39th Annual Black Doll Show: PSYCHEDOLLIA, December 14, 2019 to February 15, 2020


The William Grant Still Arts Center
proudly presents

The 39th Annual Black Doll Show:

5 (1)


December 14, 2019 to February 15, 2020

The William Grant Still Art Center is excited to announce it’s 39th Annual Black Doll Show, “Psychedollia” showcasing a movement in joy, through Black life, music, art, fashion and popular culture.

The exhibition cites 1960’s soul and funk as a source of inspiration while also referencing flower power genres of the 1990’s hip hop and house/techno scenes, contemporary practices of futurism and transgression through delight and bliss. Psychedollia is a celebration of the monumental and small, ordinary and extraordinary events that depict Black life in all its facets. This year’s theme is a deep exploration of cultural imagery as depicted through the beauty and diversity of dolls. It seeks to positively reshape the dialogue on Black life & identity as portrayed in media and dominant society by highlighting Black is Beautiful, natural hair, counter culture, self-empowerment, Black liberation and agency.


The exhibition will feature full scale installations by artists within an overall design and curatorial effort by the house staff at the William Grant Still Arts Center. Our galleries will feature an installation by renowned artist, Pat Shiver’s and her Ragganation Dolls, a psychedelic altar by Dr. Cynthia Davis and pop-futurist artist Adah Glenn’s Triflin’ Toi Town room installation.


Other artists and collectors in the exhibition Nneka Gigi, Emi Motokawa, Stacey McBride-Irby, C. Jerome Woods, Joann Kimble, Pamela Boddie, Liz Graves, Johann Hassan,  Orit Corech, Dawn Spears, Cookie Keeling Patterson, Teresa Tolliver, Angela Briggs, Billie Green, Heather Hilliard Bonds, Kimberly Sigman, Tamika Spencer, Van Young and others to be announced.

About the Black Doll Show:
The Black Doll Show at The William Grant Still Arts Center was started in 1980 by the Friends of William Grant Still Arts Center, with artist Cecil Fergerson as its first curator.  Inspired by the “Black Doll Test” conducted in the 1940s by pioneering psychologists Mamie and Kenneth Clark that concluded that many African-American children preferred playing with white dolls over black dolls, The Black Doll Show at the Center is the longest-running display of black dolls in Los Angeles. Collectors and doll artists return time and time again to offer dolls from their collections that fit with the year’s theme. At its root, it is a time for community to come together to celebrate the collections and contributions each individual has made to doll making and collecting over the years.

Program Events and Activities

Exhibition Dates:
December 14, 2019 – February 15, 2020

Opening Reception:
Saturday, December 14, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Psychedelic DJ sets by:
Simone Trinidad


December 21, 2019, 2-4 PM, with Artist, Teresa Tolliver

January 11, 2020, 2-4 PM,  with Artist, Adah Glenn

February 1, 2020, 2-4 PM, with Artist, Dr Cynthia Davis

*materials fee may apply for some workshops.
Gallery Hours:
Tuesdays – Saturdays, Noon to 5:00 p.m.

William Grant Still Arts Center
2520 South West View Street
Los Angeles, CA 90016


About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles’ 4 million residents and 40 million annual visitors. DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and ensures access to diverse and enriching cultural activities through: grant making, marketing, development, public art, community arts programming, arts education, and building partnerships with artists and arts and cultural organizations in neighborhoods throughout the City of Los Angeles.