Wednesday, February 13, 2013

University of Maryland's Driskell Center Receives 2.2 Million in Artworks from Black Philanthropists


COLLEGE PARK, MD - The University of Maryland's David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora (Driskell Center) has announced a bequest of more than 225 collected artworks valued at more than $2.2 million from the estate of the late Sandra Anderson Baccus and her husband, Lloyd T. Baccus, M.D.  Mrs. Baccus, who passed in 2012, and her husband, who passed in 2006, lived in Roswell, Georgia where they led their medical business, Correctional Medial Associates, Inc., for more than 25 years.  Mrs. Baccus served on the Driskell Center board from 2004 to 2006.

Highlights of the collection include paintings, drawings, collages, mixed media, and sculptures by Charles Alston, Richmond Barthé, Romare Bearden, Radcliffe Bailey, John Biggers, Eldzier Cortor, Aaron Douglas, David C. Driskell, Clementine Hunter, W.H. Johnson, Loïs Mailou Jones, Hayden Palmer, Charles White and Hale Woodruff, to name a few.  The gift also included important artist books and portfolios from Benny Andrews, Jacob Lawrence, Betty Saar and more.

"The Center, established in honor of one of America's most accomplished artists and historians, Professor David C. Driskell, is honored to have received this wonderful gift," said Curlee R. Holton, Driskell Center interim executive director. "This gift illustrates in full measure the impact that the dedicated collector plays in ensuring the safe guarding of our cultural legacy."

David C. Driskell recalls meeting Mrs. Baccus in 2000 at an event held at the M. Hanks Gallery in Santa Monica, California.  Later that year, they met again at the High Museum of Art when the exhibition "Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection," organized by the University of Maryland, was on display at the High. They quickly became friends.

"We shared the same goal of promoting the art of African-American artists," said David C. Driskell about his friendship with Mrs. Baccus.  "Thanks to generous gifts like Sandra's, the center is better able to fully realize its goals."

She was also among the main supporters of the David C. Driskell Prize, established in 2005 at the High Museum of Art, the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African-American art and art history. At the time of her passing, her board memberships were the Georgia Primary Bank, the HistoryMakers, the African American Experience Fund of the National Park Service, and the Community Relations Committee of the High Museum of Art.

The current Baccus's in-kind gift of more than $2.2 million ranks them among the top benefactors of the center to date.

About the Center
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, College Park, honors the legacy of David C. Driskell, distinguished university professor emeritus of art, artist, art historian, collector and curator, by preserving the rich heritage of African-American visual art and culture. Established in 2001, the center is committed to preserving, documenting, and presenting African-American art, as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African-American art. The center's exhibition program is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council. For further information regarding the collection and future exhibitions, please call 301.314.2615, email driskellcenter@umd.edu, or visit www.driskellcenter.umd.edu.

In photo: Neil Barclay, CEO National Black Arts Festival congratulates philanthropist Sandra Anderson Baccus in 2011 as she receives a heart-shaped diamond Chopard necklace from Cathie Wilson, General Manager, Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo by Ninh T. Chau via Fashionado.net

Source: Press release

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