african american art gallery

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Kara Walker, ‘Untitled’, cut paper and collage on paper (2009) 

“Kara Walker had her first major success as an artist with her intricate and compulsive black-and-white paper silhouettes of imagined scenes from slave history in the American south. In 1994, her room-size mural, ‘Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred b’tween the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart’, won her international acclaim, and made her at 27 one of the youngest ever recipients of a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant”

[Text taken from Tim Adams, ‘Kara Walker: “There is a moment in life where one becomes black” ’, The Guardian (September 27th, 2015) ]

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/sep/27/kara-walker-interview-victoria-miro-gallery-atlanta ]

Robert L. Johnson Donates Art Collection to NMAAHC

 Elizabeth Catlett, Head of a Negro Woman, 1946. © ElizabethCatlett/Licensed by Visual Artists & Galleries Association, Inc. (VAGA),New York, NY

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture recently received an impressive donation from Robert L. Johnson, a founding member of the museum’s council. Johnson, founder of The RLJ Companies and Black Entertainment Television (BET), has donated select artworks from his privately owned Barnett-Aden Collection

The donated works from the collection include a terracotta sculpture “Head of a Negro Woman” (1946) by Elizabeth Catlett and paintings from Romare Bearden, “A Walk in Paradise Gardens” (1955), Archibald John Motley Jr., “The Argument” (1940), Henry O. Tanner, “Flight into Egypt” (1916) and Frederick C. Flemister, “Self-Portrait” (1941).

Frederick C. Flemister, Self-Portrait, 1941. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Robert L. Johnson.

The Barnett-Aden Collection was established in 1943 by James Herring, founder of the Howard University department of art, and Alonzo Aden, curator of Howard University’s Gallery of Art. The collection of African American art features portraiture, urban genre themes and depictions of the African American experience. 

Romare Bearden, A Walk in Paradise Gardens, 1955. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Robert L. Johnson, © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Since the 1980s, Johnson has assembled a private collection of more than 250 pieces of artwork by 19th- and20th-century artists. The Barnett-Aden Collection, which documents the struggles, achievements and celebrations of black people in America, was acquired by Johnson in 1998 from the National Museum of African American Art based in Florida, and selections from the collection were displayed in Washington, D.C., in early 2009.

“We are delighted to receive such a significant donation from Robert L. Johnson to house as part the museum’s permanent collection,” said Lonnie G. Bunch, founding director of NMAAHC. 

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Flight into Egypt, ca. 1916. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Robert L. Johnson.

Post complied by Lanae S., Social Media Specialist, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.