Collecting African American Art (Paperback)
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 9780300152913, 152pp.
Publication Date: March 24, 2009
This important book showcases institutional and private efforts to collect, document, and preserve African American art in American’s fourth largest city, Houston, Texas. Eminent historian John Hope Franklin’s essay reveals his passionate commitment to collect African American art, while curator Alvia J. Wardlaw discusses works by Robert S. Duncanson, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippen, and Bill Traylor as well as pieces by contemporary artists Kojo Griffin and Mequitta Ahuja. Quilts, pottery, and a desk made by an African American slave for his daughter contribute to the overview.
The book also focuses on the collections of the “black intelligentsia,” African Americans who taught at black colleges like Fisk University, where Aaron Douglas founded the art department. A number of the artists represented were collected privately before they were able to exhibit in mainstream museums.
About the Author
John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University, where the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies is located. Alvia J. Wardlaw is curator of modern and contemporary art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and director of the University Museum at Texas Southern University in Houston.