Monday, January 9, 2012

African American Art in the News

Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Donate Prominent Collection of African American Art and Fund New Curator Position at Georgia Museum of Art

The Georgia Museum of Art (GMOA) at the University of Georgia has received a prominent collection of art by African American artists, donated by Larry and Brenda Thompson (pictured). The donation was initially announced in March 2011 in conjunction with the couple’s “Tradition Redefined” exhibition that features 72 works by 67 black artists, as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the desegregation of the University of Georgia. In addition to their gift of art, the Thompson’s will support a new position at the museum, the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of the African Diaspora.

Larry Thompson serves as the John A. Sibley Professor in Corporate and Business Law at the University of Georgia, and is the former senior VP of government affairs, general counsel and secretary for PepsiCo. Brenda Thompson, a doctor of clinical psychology, serves on the boards of the Georgia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation and Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries. For more information, visit

Successions: Prints by African American Artists from the Jean and Robert Steele Collection Showcases African American Printwork

The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland in College Park, will feature a collection of prints and works by African American artists, amassed by Jean and Robert Steele. The exhibition will open on February 2, 2012 with a public reception from 5-7pm.

More from the press release: "Forty-five artists, using traditional printmaking techniques such as etching, monoprint, lithography, linocut and silkscreen, created the sixty-two works on display. For the last four decades, the Steeles have developed a collection of hundreds of prints and works on paper by African American artists. Instrumental in the Steele’s collecting has been their patronage of printmaking workshops that have been established by, and focus on, African American artists, such as Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop, Inc. in New York City; Allan Edmunds’s Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, PA; Lou Stovall’s Workshop, Inc. and Percy Martin’s WD Graphics Studio, both in Washington, DC.

The Steeles are endeavoring to create a systematic structure to support African American art,”says exhibition curator Adrienne Childs in her catalogue essay. “Although there are few public or private collections of this nature, the Steeles recognize the need to support black printmakers and the systems that sustain them in order to ensure the longevity and vitality of this important medium.” Accompanying the exhibition is a forty-eight page catalogue; it includes twenty-eight color reproductions, an exhibition checklist, a glossary of printmaking terms, and texts by David C. Driskell, Jean and Robert Steele, and curator Adrienne Childs." For more information, visit

Sources: Press release/Photo credit: Fairfield County Look