Saturday, March 26, 2011

Select News Announcements, Upcoming Programs and Activities

College Park, Maryland

Joseph Holston, Young Fisherman,
 1989, Etching, 6" x 4½"

The Tenth Annual David C. Driskell Distinguished Lecture in the Visual Arts, featuring Jock Reynolds, will be held at the Driskell Center on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm. The topic of this year's lecture is "Afro-American Presence in American Art: From the Battle of Bunker Hill to Now." The lecture will follow the opening reception for the exhibition: Limited Editions: Joseph Holston Prints, 1974 - 2010, A Retrospective at the Driskell Center's Gallery from 5 - 6:30 pm. The exhibition will be on view through June 17, 2011.

The David C. Driskell Center is located in the Cole Student Activities Building, University of Maryland. For more information, see lecture and exhibition.  

Indianapolis, Indiana
Hard Truths: A Forum on Art and the Politics of Difference is sponsored by the Indianapolis Museum of Art as an affiliate program to the current Thornton Dial exhibition on view through September 18, 2011. This one-day public forum, "using the life and art of Thornton Dial as a point of departure, will explore the status of African American artists within the mainstream contemporary art world, an examination that reflects broader social, economic, and political ‘hard truths’ within society at large. It explores the relevance of black creative expression to issues of social justice across racial boundaries."

The forum is scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2011 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Speakers include: Julian Bond, Joanne Cubbs, Theaster Gates, Fred Moten, Franklin Sirmans, and Greg Tate. For more details, see forum.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The Phillips Museum of Art presents an Artist Forum, As Seen in Print: African American Modernists Consider Their Reception. Professor Kellie Jones of Columbia University will frame this discussion within the context of her landmark scholarship on this topic, and includes a conversation with the following vanguard abstract artists: Ed Clark, Mel Edwards, James Little, Howardena Pindell, Jack Whitten and William T. Williams.  

The Forum is held at Franklin and Marshall College, Stahr Auditorium, Stager Hall on Saturday, April 2, 2011, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission is free, but reservations are required. RSVP to:

Northampton, Massachusetts

Whitfield Lovell
Whitfield Lovell, contemporary artist, will deliver the Eighth Annual Dulcy Blume Miller Lecture in Art on Thursday, March 31 at Smith College (Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall) at 7:00 pm. Lovell, who is known for creating emotionally moving artworks, is a recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007. He creates "meticulously-drawn portraits of African-Americans based on vintage photographs, juxtaposing these images with resonant objects." More Than You Know: Works by Whitfield Lovell is on view at the Smith College Museum of Art through May 1, 2011.

"The Miller Lecture in Art and Art History is an endowed program established in memory of Dulcy Blume Miller, class of 1946, that annually brings a leading artist or art historian to campus to give a public lecture and to take part in class sessions." For details, call 413/585-2777.

Washington, DC

 International Visions Gallery presents an artist talk, featuring Stan Squirewell, on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. The Gallery's current exhibition, Stan Squirewell: Interconnected is on view through April 23, 2011. In Squirewell's collection of recent work, "the artist explores conditions revolving around the empowered and the powerless: institutions/identity, categories/boundaries, and assimilation/transformation. The very sharpness of digital media amplifies his confrontational imagery."

International Visions Gallery is located at 2629 Connecticut Avenue, NW. For further information, visit The Gallery.

Elders Learning Through the Arts (ELTA) Project presents ELTA-STAR Awards Ceremony on April 27, from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at the Kennedy Recreation Center (1401 7th Street, NW). This ceremony is one of the activities to celebrate the Third Annual ELTA Student-Faculty Exhibition which is on view April 27 - May 2, 2011 at the Kennedy Recreation Center. For further information, contact: 202/ 671-4794.

This project is supported by the D C Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Friends of Kennedy Playground Foundation in partnership with the D C Parks and Recreation, Senior Services Division.  

Seniors Textile Arts Renaissance (STAR) will present a Wearable Art Fashion Show in the Great Hall of the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives (1201 17th Street, NW) on April 14, 2011 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. This is an affiliate program to STAR's Second Annual Student-Faculty Textile Arts Exhibition which is on view April 14 through May 20, 2011 at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives.

This project is supported by private donations, a grant from the Friends of Kennedy Foundation, and the D C Department of Parks and Recreation, Senior Services Program. The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives graciously hosts this event.

Yonkers, New York

Hudson River Museum's Art Talk presents Alona Wilson, in its lecture series, discussing "Interpreting and Preserving African-American Arts" on April 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm. *Alona Wilson is the Curator and Assistant Director of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, an institution that "owns a vital collection of 7,000 items including art, artifacts and popular culture objects that document the experiences, expressions and history of people of African American heritage." Learn more about The Amistad Center*CANCELED

Bartholomew Bland, Hudson River Museum Curator of Exhibitions, will give an illustrated lecture on Chemistry of Color: The Sorgenti Collection of Contemporary African-American Art on April 13, 2011 from 1:30 - 3:00 pm. Chemistry of Color is on view through May 8, 2011.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Swann Galleries: Printed and Manuscript African Americana, Sale 2239

Swann Galleries, 16th annual Printed and Manuscript African Americana sale, consisting of approximately 507 lots, was held on March 10, 2011. The sale was divided into a number of broad subject areas that included the following divisions: Slavery and Abolition; Art; Black Memorabilia; Black Panthers; Business, Civil Rights; Marcus Garvey; Literature and Poetry; Military; Music, Sports, and etc. The success of Sale 2239 can be summed up in the words of Wyatt Houston Day, Swann African Americana specialist, "This is unquestionably the most successful sale of African Americana we have had in 16 years of sales at Swann--for two very important reasons: a diversity of fine, and in many cases unique material, and most important to any auction, a number of very knowledgeable and aggressive bidders, in almost every area."

Items, such as those included in Swann Galleries' Printed and Manuscript African Americana, allow historians and the general public an opportunity to explore and discover documents of the past. These items, including photographs and posters; published and unpublished writings in the form of rare books, correspondence, pamphlets, diaries, brochures, and ephemera; as well as, artifacts or other concrete items, document the cultural heritage of people of African descent. They are crucial pieces that may be used to explain, clarify, and interpret the role of blacks in American and world history.

For years, collectors, bibliophiles, and individuals have played a significant role in the conservation and preservation of papers and other material culture items. The items may be a part of large collections or simply individual pieces, but their existence is a part of history, continually unfolding. As these items are sold, it is hoped that they find homes in institutions of higher education (libraries, repositories, archives, and special collections), historical societies, museums, research organizations, and other cultural agencies, where they might be used by the general public, researchers, scholars, and the like to meaningfully and accurately incorporate the black experience into the larger picture of American and world history. 

Sample items from Charles Harris
Wesley Archive; Sale 2239, Lot 281
 The top lot that sold for $43,200 was Charles Harris Wesley's archive of approximately 35 cartons of material, covering the period from 1927-1982. Wesley was a noted historian, scholar, educator, minister, and writer, a graduate of Fisk University who earned his Masters degree from Yale, his PhD from Harvard, and went on to teach at Howard University among other esteemed institutions. The archive was acquired by an institution.

Father Divine (banner); Sale 2239, Lot 465
The second top lot was a "large handmade banner, 54x53 inches, heavy purple felt with white, quilted letters sewn around an image of a dove on top of the world" associated with Father Divine's International Peace Mission. The banner had a high estimate of $1,000; it greatly surpassed that estimate when it successfully sold for $36,000 to an institution. Father Divine "founded the International Peace Mission movement in 1936, formulated its doctrine, and oversaw its growth from a small and predominantly black congregation into a multiracial and international church." 

Huey P. Newton poster;
Sale 2239, Lot 192
 There was active bidding in the Black Panther section of the auction with a number of items exceeding their high bid, including the Huey Newton poster: "The racist dog policeman must withdraw immediately from our communities" (1968). This classic image depicting Huey P. Newton, Panther Minister of Defense, seated in a large fan-back wicker chair, holding a rifle in one hand and a spear in the other had a high estimate of $2,500. It sold for $19,200, capturing a record price. 

For the full scope of the Printed and Manuscript African Americana sale, see images in the catalogue, and the final prices inclusive of Buyer's Premium at results.