It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of Dr. Maurice Berger, chief curator and research professor at UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), who died Sunday, March 22, in Craryville, New York from complications of COVID-19. A path-breaking art historian and curator, Maurice was a fierce advocate for social justice and an exceptionally caring human being. Through his exhibitions and writings, he compelled us to look honestly at issues of race, inequity, and their representations in visual culture.
“Maurice was a beloved member of the UMBC community, one of our most admired and productive scholars,” said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. “For many of us, he was even more than that. He was a special colleague and friend. We will always remember him as a brilliant voice for the arts and justice. The UMBC community so admired him because we shared the same values. He believed in the dignity of humankind and the power of art and history to open our eyes.”
We continue to be moved by the many tributes published in honor of our late colleague Maurice Berger and share a selection here that convey the impact of his groundbreaking work:
— The New York Times: Maurice Berger, Curator Outspoken About Race, Is Dead at 63
— Los Angeles Times: Maurice Berger, 63, curator who explored race, dies of coronavirus complications
— ARTFORUM: MAURICE BERGER (1957–2020)
— The Jewish Museum: The Jewish Museum Remembers Maurice Berger (1956–2020)
— The Art Newspaper: Maurice Berger, critic and curator, has died of complications from Covid-19, aged 63
Access the complete collection of Maurice Berger’s Race Stories essays via UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture website. The monthly column ran in the NYT Lens section from July 2012 until December 2018.