Artist Derrick Adams, photographed in his studio
Terrence Jennings Artist Derrick Adams, photographed in his studio

In 1936, Harlem postal worker Victor Hugo Green published the first in a series that became known as the “Bible of Black Travel,” a guide to hotels, restaurants, and other businesses willing to serve to black travelers during Jim Crow, when entire towns often excluded blacks after sunset. Although Green died in 1960, the guides were published until 1967, and over the three-decade run evolved from The Negro Motorist Green Book to The Negro Travelers' Green Book.

"Beacon" (2017)
Courtesy Derrick Adams Studio "Beacon" (2017)

Inspired by Green’s series of travel guides, New York artist Derrick Adams has produced an exhibition of 50 pieces—including sculpture, collage, and assemblage—interpreting these destinations of safety for black travelers. “Derrick Adams: Sanctuary” opens today at New York's Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), and was curated by Dexter Wimberly, the executive director of Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, N.J., with MAD's assistant curator Samantha De Tillio.

"The project is really timely, considering all of the conversations and issues surrounding immigration and racial tension,” Adams told The New York Times. “Things are happening that echo what the Green Books were trying to prevent. If anything, I want people to know how important it is to have freedom to go where you want to go.”

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary” runs through Aug. 12 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.