National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington, D.C. has acquired 40 works by African American artists from the Southern United States. As first reported by Zachary Small of the New York Times, the collection includes pieces by 21 artists, including nine quilts from the celebrated Gee’s Bend quilters, monumental assemblage works by Alabama-born artist Thornton Dial and abstract sculptures by Lonnie Holley.
The museum purchased the works through Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering racial equity in the arts and promoting black artists from the American South. Speaking with the Art Newspaper’s Gareth Harris, the organization’s president, Maxwell Anderson, described the acquisition as a “milestone” move.
“Like all museum acquisitions, this took a bit of time to carry across the finish line, three years in this case,” he says, adding that the selection of a list of works started “long before the murder of George Floyd in May.”
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