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Amon Carter Museum Announces Exhibition of Esteemed Private Collection of African-American Art
Sam Middleton (b. 1927), Untitled (Abstraction), 1961. Jerry Thomas Arts, Atlanta, GA.
FORT WORTH, TX.- The works of more than 50 African-American artists from the late 1800s to the early years of this century will be on view at the Amon Carter Museum from June 6 through August 23, 2009, in the special exhibition The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art: Works on Paper. The Kelley collection is one of the most esteemed private collections of African-American art, and the special exhibition features more than 90 works on paper by artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, William H. Johnson, Alison Saar and Charles White.

Two significant eras are represented in the exhibition: the 1930s and 1940s, a period which saw the birth of African-American regionalism, and the 1960s and 1970s, which saw the rise of politically motivated and African-inspired themes; subjects range from racism and its related hardships to family, music and religion.

“An array of fascinating, vivid imagery makes this exhibition particularly compelling,” Myers says. “Virtually every work clearly emanates from the artists’ own powerful, personal narrative.”

The Kelleys have been collecting art since the mid-1980s, when they saw the exhibition Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800–1950 at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Realizing they did not recognize any of the artists’ names, they vowed to educate themselves about this aspect of their heritage and built a collection to advance the legacy of African-American art.

“We are delighted the Amon Carter Museum has chosen to host this exhibition,” Harmon Kelley says. “Placing our drawings and prints in the context of the museum’s rich holdings of American art is a wonderful and unique opportunity.”

Concurrent to this exhibition, the one-gallery exhibition African-American Art: Selections from the Amon Carter Museum’s Collection is on view. This exhibition showcases some of the museum’s landmark prints and drawings from the same era as those in the Kelley show. Artists featured include Charles Alton, Grafton Tyler Brown, Elizabeth Catlett, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, William E. Smith, Dox Thrash, Charles White and John Wilson.

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art: Works on Paper was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California. African-American Art: Selections from the Amon Carter Museum’s Collection was organized by the Amon Carter Museum.




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