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) ]
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.
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.
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.