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Exploring art by and about people of African descent, primarily through the lens of books, magazines and catalogs, Culture Type features original research and reporting and shares invaluable interestingness culled from the published record on black art.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Sets New Auction Record with Non-Figurative Painting, Proceeds Benefit Studio Museum in Harlem

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Sets New Auction Record with Non-Figurative Painting, Proceeds Benefit Studio Museum in Harlem

“Bush Babies” (2017) by Njideka Akunyili Crosby.   THE AUCTION PRICE FOR A PAINTING by Njideka Akunyili Crosby climbed a bit higher last week. “Bush Babies” by the Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based artist sold for nearly $3.4 million including fees at Sotheby’s New York, a new artist record. Her previous high...
Two 1970s-Era Portraits by Barkley L. Hendricks Top $2 Million at Sotheby's, Shattering the Artist's Previous Record

Two 1970s-Era Portraits by Barkley L. Hendricks Top $2 Million at Sotheby’s, Shattering the Artist’s Previous Record

BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS, “Brenda P,” 1974   A STRIKING PORTRAIT of a statuesque woman named Brenda P set a new auction record for Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) on Wednesday at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. The 1974 painting sold for $2.1 million including fees, which was twice...
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Kerry James Marshall's 'Past Times' Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby's, Artist Assumes Mantle as Most Expensive Living African American Artist

Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Past Times’ Soars to Record-Setting $21.1 Million at Sotheby’s, Artist Assumes Mantle as Most Expensive Living African American Artist

  A GRAND-SCALE PAINTING by Kerry James Marshall had bidders battling last night. Marshall’s “Past Times” (1997) soared beyond the high estimate and sold for $18.5 million ($21.1 million, including fees). The high bid came by phone, setting an artist record. The painting was featured in Sotheby’s May 16 Contemporary Art Evening Auction and carried...
Corcoran Collection Art Goes to Howard University, and Smithsonian African American and Anacostia Museums

Corcoran Collection Art Goes to Howard University, and Smithsonian African American and Anacostia Museums

Sam Gilliam’s 1969 painting, “Light Depth” will be added to the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. | Courtesy Corcoran Collection   THE REMAINING ART from the Corcoran Gallery of Art has been distributed. More than 10,750 works were given away. Nearly all of it went to 22 institutions in Washington, D.C. The...
Creating Space: Here's the List of 42 Artists Whose Works Are For Sale at Sotheby's to Benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem

Creating Space: Here’s the List of 42 Artists Whose Works Are For Sale at Sotheby’s to Benefit the Studio Museum in Harlem

Lot 3: LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE, “An Assistance of Amber,” 2017 (oil on linen). | Estimate $100,000-$150,000. Sold for $555,000 including fees   THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM and Sotheby’s are collaborating on a major sale of works by some of the most prominent and critically recognized artists of African descent working today. Artists including Mark Bradford,...
Coming Soon: Denver Art Museum is Presenting Jordan Casteel's First Major Museum Exhibition in 2019

Coming Soon: Denver Art Museum is Presenting Jordan Casteel’s First Major Museum Exhibition in 2019

  “Benyam” (2018) by Jordan Casteel   DENVER-BORN Jordan Casteel‘s hometown museum is hosting her first major museum show. “Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze,” an exhibition of nearly 30 paintings, opens at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in February 2019. Recognized for her large-scale painted portraits of black men, Casteel lives and works in Harlem,...
In a New Documentary, 4 Los Angeles Area Artists Explore the Creative and Practical Implications of Motherhood

In a New Documentary, 4 Los Angeles Area Artists Explore the Creative and Practical Implications of Motherhood

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is among the artists profiled in the documentary “Artist and Mother.” | Video by KCET   DOES MOTHERHOOD ALTER an artist’s practice or change her work and approach to creativity? It’s a question rarely discussed publicly that a new documentary takes on and addresses directly. “You have very significant successful artists and...
The Week in African American Art: Designer Gail Anderson Recognized by Cooper Hewitt, Artist Kapwani Kiwanga Presents Frieze Commission & More

The Week in African American Art: Designer Gail Anderson Recognized by Cooper Hewitt, Artist Kapwani Kiwanga Presents Frieze Commission & More

Gail Anderson of New York received the Cooper Hewitt Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. | Photo by Declan Van Welie; Paris-based Kapwani Kiwanga won the first Frieze Artist Award in New York. | Photo by Bertille-Chérot   The following review of the past week or so presents a snapshot of the latest news in African...
Archibald Motley's Favorite Painting, a Portrait of His Grandmother, Has Entered the Collection of the National Gallery of Art

Archibald Motley’s Favorite Painting, a Portrait of His Grandmother, Has Entered the Collection of the National Gallery of Art

  A SELECTION OF PAINTINGS OF WOMEN IN WHITE is displayed in the American Galleries in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. Portraits by artists including Gilbert Stuart, Cecilia Beaux, Whistler, George Bellows, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent are among the group. Stuart’s rendering of Catherine Brass Yates (Mrs. Richard Yates)...
A New Documentary About André Leon Talley Traces His Southern Roots and Unimaginable Rise in High Fashion

A New Documentary About André Leon Talley Traces His Southern Roots and Unimaginable Rise in High Fashion

  A WISE AND SEASONED arbiter of style, André Leon Talley has been cutting a fabulous figure in the fashion world for more than 40 years. Before he became a fixture at Vogue, he worked at Andy Warhol’s Factory, volunteered with Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and did stints at...
Overlooked: The Smithsonian Acquired a Portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the Latest Effort to Recognize Her Legacy in Medical Science

Overlooked: The Smithsonian Acquired a Portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the Latest Effort to Recognize Her Legacy in Medical Science

  CERVICAL CANCER CLAIMED THE LIFE of Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951), an African American woman who died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at the young age of 31. She never gave her consent, but in the waning months before her death her cells were harvested and have revolutionized medical science. For more than half a...
Known for His Revolutionary Black Power Images, Wadsworth Jarrell Started Painting Horse Race Scenes in the 1960s

Known for His Revolutionary Black Power Images, Wadsworth Jarrell Started Painting Horse Race Scenes in the 1960s

“Untitled (Horserace)” by Wadsworth Jarrell.   BEYOND THE INFLUENTIAL REALM of major auction houses in art centers such as New York, London, and Hong Kong, and even Los Angeles and Chicago, there are hundreds of smaller, longstanding local businesses selling second-hand valuables, from antique furniture, watches, and china to fine art. In the United States,...
Acquisitions by Glenn Ligon, McArthur Binion, and Toyin Ojih Odutola are Driving Conversations Around Race and History at Mississippi Museum of Art

Acquisitions by Glenn Ligon, McArthur Binion, and Toyin Ojih Odutola are Driving Conversations Around Race and History at Mississippi Museum of Art

GLENN LIGON, “Condition Report,” 2000   THE MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF ART in Jackson, Miss., is encouraging constructive conversations about racial equity through contemporary art. A slate of new acquisitions, including works by African American artists Glenn Ligon, Benny Andrews (1930-2006), and McArthur Binion, a native of Macon, Miss., supports the museum’s commitment to engaging the...
Artist Barkley L. Hendricks Received a Posthumous Faculty Award From Connecticut College Where He Taught for Nearly Four Decades

Artist Barkley L. Hendricks Received a Posthumous Faculty Award From Connecticut College Where He Taught for Nearly Four Decades

  EMERITUS PROFESSOR Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) received the inaugural President’s Award for Creative Impact from Connecticut College on May 2. He was among five faculty members recognized by President Katherine Bergeron for demonstrating excellence and innovation in research, teaching and leadership. Hendricks is the first to be honored with the new Impact award which...
'Folklorist of the Brush and Palette': Rare Winold Reiss Exhibition Features Distinct, Illuminating Portraits of Harlem Figures

‘Folklorist of the Brush and Palette’: Rare Winold Reiss Exhibition Features Distinct, Illuminating Portraits of Harlem Figures

WINOLD REISS, “Harlem Girl with Blanket,” circa 1925   FORTY WORKS BY A HARLEM LEGEND are on view in midtown Manhattan. “Winold Reiss Will Not Be Classified” at Hirschl & Adler gallery presents works spanning the German American artist’s four decade career. Weinold Reiss (1886–1953) was variously considered an artist, designer, illustrator, architect, printmaker, and...
Charles White's 'Love Letter' for Angela Davis Featured on Forthcoming 2019 African American Art Calendar

Charles White’s ‘Love Letter’ for Angela Davis Featured on Forthcoming 2019 African American Art Calendar

  CHARLES WHITE, “Love Letter,” 1971   SHORTLY AFTER ‘CHARLES WHITE: A RETROSPECTIVE’ opens at the Art Institute of Chicago, a 2019 wall calendar will be released featuring his work. Published by Pomegranate in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), the African American art calendar features Charles White‘s “Love Letter” (1971) on the...