This undergraduate thesis deals with the role of art in national trauma and history. I looked at Joseph Beuys, a post-World War II artist and Kara Walker, a contemporary African American female artist. I used the German installation artist, Joseph Beuys, as a lens for looking at art's reaction and handling of the trauma of World War II. I discussed Kara Walker because she seeks to create a critical understanding of America's racial past through art and who explores, as well, contemporary racial and gender stereotypes. Both artists are important for understanding memory, history, and identity-both personal and national identity.