Barbara Young: Journeys in Radical Librarianship

July 10 - Oct 2, 2021

WAAM is pleased to present Barbara Young: Journeys in Radical Librarianship in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) Vasari Project archives on July 10. The library’s Vasari Project archives were co-founded by Young and art historian and the Miami Herald art critic emeritus Helen L. Kohen twenty years ago.

This exhibition celebrates and recognizes Miami-based art librarian and curator Barbara Young’s pivotal contributions to Miami's art and cultural landscape. Her unique multidisciplinary approach to librarianship and far-reaching advocacy made the visual arts more accessible to neighborhoods throughout Miami-Dade. During her tenure at the MDPLS, Young radically redefined how memory institutions disseminate public knowledge by widening access to the arts through the tireless promotion of the creative achievements of artists and communities who are traditionally left out of mainstream art discourse.

This exhibition highlights selections from Young’s own personal papers and the Vasari Project that illustrate her expansive and innovative curatorial practice and art activism across the MDPLS. Through archival documentation including exhibition brochures and catalogs, photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera, we also journey into the art historical activities of Miami-Dade from the late 70s to the early 2000s.