Chicago-based artist Bethany Collins (b. 1984) explores the intersection of language and race in her conceptually driven practice. She alters existing documents—such as the daily Birmingham News from 1963 or the U.S. Department of Justice’s report on the Ferguson, Missouri, police department—to critique the truthfulness and completeness of the official record. Since 2016, Collins has also examined translations of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, an ancient text of exile and homecoming, and familiarity and estrangement from one’s homeland.

At the Frist, a new artist book featured one hundred versions of “The Star Spangled Banner,” written from the 18th to the 21st centuries in support of specific political or social causes—from temperance and suffrage to abolition and even the confederacy. The multiple reinterpretations of this song—composed in 1814 by Francis Scott Key and the U.S. national anthem since 1931—offered opportunities for reflection on patriotism, belonging, and individual position within national identity, a particularly resonant topic following a presidential election year.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum

Exhibition introduction and labels

Exhibition dates are subject to change.

Funded in part by the Gordon CAP Gallery Fund

With additional support from

Clay Blevins 
John and Melinda Buntin
Susan H. Edwards
Jennifer and Billy Frist
Frank and Gwen Gordon Julie and Bob Gordon
Gail Gordon Jacobs
Louise and Neil Kohler
Neil Krugman and Lee Pratt
Kent Rollins and Belinda Butler

(List current as of April 15, 2021)

Supported in part by

Exhibition gallery

Please consider supporting the Frist Art Museum with a donation. Your gift is essential to our mission of serving the community through the arts and art access in particular. We truly appreciate your generosity.