Museums increase holdings in African-American art | Rock Candy

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Museums increase holdings in African-American art

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 2:29 PM

click to enlarge AT CRYSTAL BRIDGES: "Maya's Quilt of Life," arylic on canvas and painted, dyed and pieced fabrics, 1989, 73 x 73 inches. Inscribed "This painted story quilt is a tribute to the universal wisdom and strength of Maya Angelou, the phenomenal woman, writer, poet, thinker and human being. It was commissioned for Ms. Angelou's birthday, April 4, 1989, by Oprah Winfrey who says of Ms. Angelou: 'She is our mother, sister, friend and teacher' " and texts from Angelou's books.
  • AT CRYSTAL BRIDGES: "Maya's Quilt of Life," arylic on canvas and painted, dyed and pieced fabrics, 1989, 73 x 73 inches. Inscribed "This painted story quilt is a tribute to the universal wisdom and strength of Maya Angelou, the phenomenal woman, writer, poet, thinker and human being. It was commissioned for Ms. Angelou's birthday, April 4, 1989, by Oprah Winfrey who says of Ms. Angelou: 'She is our mother, sister, friend and teacher' " and texts from Angelou's books.


New York Observer writer Daniel Grant follows the New York Times in his reporting on the move by museums to acquire art by African Americans in his Dec. 22 article, "In 2015, Art Museums Scrambled to Beef Up Holdings of African-American Artists." New York Times writer Randy Kennedy beat Grant to the punch with the great Nov. 28 piece, "Black Artists and the March into the Museum." Both articles reference Arkansas: Grant mentions Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's acquisition of the Faith Ringgold painted quilt, "Mayas Quilt of Life," from the estate of Maya Angelou for $461,000, and Kennedy interviews former Razorback basketball star Darrell Walker about his collection of African American art, specifically Sam Gilliam.

Grant might also have mentioned that Crystal Bridges has work by Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Emma Amos, Kerry James Marshall, and so forth and so on.

It's not news to Little Rock's Garbo Hearne that artwork by African-Americans has been overlooked and undervalued, we're sure. Little Rock is lucky to have a gallery devoted to works by such terrific artists as Gilliam, whose work is included in Hearne's crrent exhibition, "Treasure," featuring other such greats as Bisa Butler, John Biggers, Phoebe Beasley, Betye Saar, Samella Lewis, Robert Carter and Dean Mitchell.

click to enlarge AT HEARNE FINE ART: Robert Carter's "Metamorphosis"
  • AT HEARNE FINE ART: Robert Carter's "Metamorphosis"



 

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