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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.

Magazines
For the Obamas, Art Has Helped Make the White House Feel Like Home

For the Obamas, Art Has Helped Make the White House Feel Like Home

President Obama narrates a look inside his art-filled White House residence. | Obama White House Video   IN OCTOBER, PRESIDENT OBAMA hosted “Love & Happiness: A Musical Experience,” the last of many, many musical performances staged at the White House during his two terms. “Over the past eight years, Michelle and I have set aside...
Illustrator Kadir Nelson Envisions Martin Luther King Jr. for Cover of New Yorker

Illustrator Kadir Nelson Envisions Martin Luther King Jr. for Cover of New Yorker

    THIS WEEK’S THE NEW YORKER boasts a cover image of Martin Luther King Jr., by Los Angeles artist Kadir Nelson. In the illustration, the civil rights legend’s brow is furrowed. He looks pensive, as though he is not sure what to make of the state of the nation he left behind. “What would...
Cover Stars: The 24 Best Art Magazine Covers of 2016

Cover Stars: The 24 Best Art Magazine Covers of 2016

  NOTHING BEATS LEAFING through the pages of a visually inspiring print publication, except perhaps that initial moment of spotting a compelling magazine cover on the newsstand or newly delivered to your mailbox. Over the past year, art magazines have selected winning cover images paying tribute to painter Kerry James Marshall, marking the historic opening...
Frieze Magazine: Betye Saar Reveals 5 Influences in First-Person Reflection on Nearly 70 Years of Art Making

Frieze Magazine: Betye Saar Reveals 5 Influences in First-Person Reflection on Nearly 70 Years of Art Making

  THE LOS ANGELES-BASED ARTIST Betye Saar is known for her assemblage works, mixed-media objects that explore race, history, death and rebirth through found objects. Indeed, Saar herself is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. After serving as a resident faculty member in 1985, Saar returned to Skowhegan in 2014 as a visiting artist. Further,...
In Great Company: According to the New York Times, Artist Kerry James Marshall is Shifting the Color of Art History

In Great Company: According to the New York Times, Artist Kerry James Marshall is Shifting the Color of Art History

  A FEW MONTHS AGO, Kerry James Marshall gave First Lady Michelle Obama a tour of “Mastry,” his career-spanning exhibition at MCA Chicago. Now both Marshall and Obama are among “The Greats,” seven people who are redefining our culture, according to the New York Times. Marshall is certainly making his mark on American culture and...
Frieze at 25: British Magazine Marks Milestone Anniversary with Chris Ofili Cover, Review of Significant Artworks Since 1991

Frieze at 25: British Magazine Marks Milestone Anniversary with Chris Ofili Cover, Review of Significant Artworks Since 1991

  TO MARK ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY, the September issue of Frieze magazine features three different covers and a review of the 25 most significant works of art produced over the past quarter century—one for each year since 1991. Chris Ofili was commissioned to create one of the covers for the special issue and was the...
Elle: New Photo Project by LaToya Ruby Frazier Reminds Americans that Flint Lives Matter

Elle: New Photo Project by LaToya Ruby Frazier Reminds Americans that Flint Lives Matter

From left, Shea Cobb with her daughter Zion and mother, Ms. Renee, outside the Social Network banquet hall. | Photo courtesy Elle magazine | © LaToya Ruby Frazier, Photo courtesy Elle magazine   THE NEWS MEDIA HAS MOVED ON, but there is still a water crisis in Flint, Mich. In April 2014, the city switched...
For The New Yorker, Kadir Nelson Captures Summer at the Beach

For The New Yorker, Kadir Nelson Captures Summer at the Beach

Video by CBS This Morning   OVER THE WEEKEND, Kadir Nelson appeared on CBS This Morning. The Sunday television program profiled the illustrator whose work is familiar to many, while he remains relatively unknown. The latest edition of The New Yorker features Nelson’s take on “A Day at the Beach,” a powerful, very American image...
Johnson Publishing Sells Ebony and Jet Magazines to Black-Owned Private Equity Firm

Johnson Publishing Sells Ebony and Jet Magazines to Black-Owned Private Equity Firm

EBONY AND JET, the historic magazines that reported on 20th century African American artists and inspired the work of a new generation of contemporary artists, have been sold to Clear View, a black-owned private equity firm. The Austin, Texas-based company purchased the titles from Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) in May for an undisclosed amount. The...
The New Yorker: Cover by Kadir Nelson Celebrates Schomburg Center in Harlem

The New Yorker: Cover by Kadir Nelson Celebrates Schomburg Center in Harlem

  RECREATING SIGNATURE IMAGES from African American artists Aaron Douglas and William H. Johnson, the latest edition of The New Yorker pays tribute to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Feb. 22 cover by Los Angeles-based illustrator Kadir Nelson is an ensemble image featuring Harlem’s towering figures of the arts and letters,...
Triple Canopy: David Hammons's First Trip to the South was Prompted by an 'Outsider' Art Exhibition

Triple Canopy: David Hammons’s First Trip to the South was Prompted by an ‘Outsider’ Art Exhibition

NEARLY 30 YEARS AGO, David Hammons traveled to North Carolina to view the work of “outsider” artists. The elusive artist, who often uses found objects in his own work, had signed on to co-curate “Outside Insight” at Clockwork Gallery in New York. To identify the artists and works to be included in the exhibition, Tom...
Recent Covers: Steve McQueen on 'T,' Thelma Golden on 'Cultured,' Lorna Simpson on 'Bookforum,' and More

Recent Covers: Steve McQueen on ‘T,’ Thelma Golden on ‘Cultured,’ Lorna Simpson on ‘Bookforum,’ and More

  THIS SEASON, A VARIETY of magazines feature on their covers some of the most dynamic African American artists (and curator) working today. In addition, the forthcoming issue of the New York Times’s “T” magazine includes Amsterdam-based British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen on one of six covers for its inaugural The Greats issue celebrating...
New York Times Publishes First-Ever, Art-Themed Issue of Sunday Book Review

New York Times Publishes First-Ever, Art-Themed Issue of Sunday Book Review

FEATURING “ILLUSTRATED BOOKS, art-themed fiction, artist biography, nonfiction about the art world, original photography and original artwork,” the New York Times published its first-ever art-themed Sunday Book Review section today (June 28, 2015). The print version arrived in this morning’s paper, but the reviews began appearing online Wednesday and a specially designed web page featuring...
Porter Magazine Reports on 'Quiet Power' of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's Paintings

Porter Magazine Reports on ‘Quiet Power’ of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Paintings

MYSTERIOUS AND CAPTIVATING are among the descriptors often used to label the subjects in Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s remarkable portraits. Fictional figures, the men and women she paints—whether sitting, standing, reclining, gazing at a floral arrangement or nursing a cup of tea—betray no sense of time or place, and their clothing and spare surroundings don’t offer any...