The American flag is an icon of patriotism, imbued with authority and cultural significance. This exhibition of works created in a range of media considers the American flag in the context of our time. As a representation of national identity, the flag purportedly encompasses a diversity of people, but it has also been used to substantiate the idea of American exceptionalism. Spanning more than 150 years, Former Glory questions our emotional connections to the flag and explores its presence in domestic and international communities. Humorous, violent, critical, and sentimental, these varied works acknowledge and reflect on American nationalism and our complex histories.
RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.