Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Richmond, VA

804 367-0844


Narratives in African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection

July 17 - September 30, 2001


This nationally traveling exhibition provides a superb overview of more than 125 years of African-American art. It includes a large selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and collages from 1870 to 1997 that together cover a wide range of styles and movements in the history of African-American art. (left: Elizabeth Catlett, Sharecropper, 1968, linocut on paper; 17 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches. (©Elizabeth Catlett/VAGA, NY, NY)

The exhibition also celebrates the vision of Dr. David C. Driskell, professor emeritus of art history at the University of Maryland, who began collecting these works in the 1950s. The exhibition features works by distinguished artists such as Edward Mitchell Bannister, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Meta Warrick Fuller, James Van DerZee, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden and Sam Gilliam. Others of the artists represented have not previously been shown in this area.

The works are organized in thematic sections that raise a wide range of social, historical and aesthetic issues. These include cultural emancipation and assimilation, the New Negro Movement, institutional patronage and mentoring, civil rights and protest, religion and spirituality, and global influences and identity within the African Diaspora. The exhibition provides a broader understanding of African-American art and its role in mainstream art history. The exhibition is made possible by a major contribution from the Rockefeller Foundation and additional support from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Prince George's Arts Council and the Washington Post Company.

Read this magazine's prior article on this exhibition:

Read more about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/27/11

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