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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.

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Mark Bradford 'Helter Skelter' Painting Sells for $10.4 Million, Highest-Ever Auction Price for Work by Living African American Artist

Mark Bradford ‘Helter Skelter’ Painting Sells for $10.4 Million, Highest-Ever Auction Price for Work by Living African American Artist

MARK BRADFORD, Detail of “Helter Skelter I,” 2007   A MONUMENTAL PAINTING by Mark Bradford reached a historic benchmark at Phillips London on March 8. “Helter Skelter I” sold for about $10.4 million (nearly $12 million, including fees), an artist record, and the highest-ever auction price achieved by a living African American artist, based on...
Michelle Obama's Viral Video with Young Admirer Opens Window Into Her Collection of African American Art

Michelle Obama’s Viral Video with Young Admirer Opens Window Into Her Collection of African American Art

Parker, I'm so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself…and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you! A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Mar 6, 2018 at 9:19am PST Michelle Obama visits with her new...
Chicago-Based Artist McArthur Binion is Now Represented by Lehmann Maupin

Chicago-Based Artist McArthur Binion is Now Represented by Lehmann Maupin

McArthur Binion, 2017 Venice Biennale.   LEHMAN MAUPIN GALLERY announced its representation of McArthur Binion today. His autobiographical abstract works are realized in tightly composed grid patterns. For more than four decades, the Chicago-based artist has been exploring the format through painting, drawing, and collage. Binion’s paintings were presented at the 2017 Venice Biennale, part...
The Month in African American Art: Here’s What Happened in February 2018

The Month in African American Art: Here’s What Happened in February 2018

Kara Walker and her crew install “The Katastwóf Karavan” at Algiers Point in New Orleans. | Photo © Ari Marcopoulos by via Prospect New Orleans   BLACK HISTORY MONTH was rife with notable moments in art history, chief among them, the unveiling of the Obama portraits at the National Portrait Gallery on Feb 12. Washington...
Adrienne Edwards Has Been Appointed Curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum

Adrienne Edwards Has Been Appointed Curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum

THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART in New York City is welcoming a new curator of performance. Adrienne Edwards was appointed the museum’s Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance today. She is joining the Whitney in May. Edwards is a curator at Performa and a curator at-large at the Walker Art Center in...
Remembering Peggy Cooper Cafritz, the Passionate Art Collector and Education Advocate Died at 70

Remembering Peggy Cooper Cafritz, the Passionate Art Collector and Education Advocate Died at 70

Arts and Education Advocate Peggy Cooper Caftritz (1947-2018)   FOR THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT equity and access in arts and education, a major ally and important advocate has been lost. Peggy Cooper Cafrtiz (1947-2018), the Washington, D.C., arts patron who co-founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, died Feb. 18 at a local hospital....
Painting Power, Capturing Character: Smithsonian Unveils Official Obama Portraits

Painting Power, Capturing Character: Smithsonian Unveils Official Obama Portraits

  WASHINGTON, DC—There are many ways to define and depict power. When President Obama’s portrait was unveiled Monday, it was a reminder that leadership, command, and influence, can be inspiring and reassuring, powerful and black. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of the former president artfully captures the man and the symbol. The image of the first African...
Knoxville Museum of Art Acquires 12 Beauford Delaney Works, Plans Major Exhibition in 2019

Knoxville Museum of Art Acquires 12 Beauford Delaney Works, Plans Major Exhibition in 2019

BEAUFORD DELANEY, “Portrait of James Baldwin,” 1944   FORTY YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH, Beauford Delaney’s hometown museum plans a major exhibition dedicated to his work. Since 2014, the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) has been amassing a collection works by the artist. On Feb. 1, the museum announced the purchase of 12 paintings, drawings, and...
2018 David C. Driskell Prize is Going to Artist Amy Sherald

2018 David C. Driskell Prize is Going to Artist Amy Sherald

THIS MORNING, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta announced Amy Sherald is the recipient of the 2018 David C. Driskell Prize. Sherald is celebrated for her imaginative portraits of real people and in the past few years has received wide-spread recognition for her distinct work. Recently, she was commissioned to paint First Lady Michelle...
The Month in African American Art: Here's What Happened in January 2018

The Month in African American Art: Here’s What Happened in January 2018

The art world is mourning artist Jack Whitten (left) and curator Kynaston McShine.   THE WORLD OF ART lost two important figures in January—inventive abstract painter Jack Whitten (1939-2018) and pioneering MoMA curator Kynaston McShine (1935-2018). In “Jack Whitten: Five Decades of Painting,” the catalog published to coincide with Whitten’s career-spanning survey (2014-15), the artist...
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Hires Curator Allison Glenn, Expanding its Contemporary Art Team

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Hires Curator Allison Glenn, Expanding its Contemporary Art Team

  THE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM of American Art announced the appointment of Allison Glenn as associate curator, contemporary art. She joins the museum’s expanding contemporary art team and will contribute to all aspects of its work, including exhibition development, publications, and long-term planning. Glenn begins work at Crystal Bridges on Feb. 12. Glenn comes to...
Coming Soon: Major Charles White Retrospective to be Presented at Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Coming Soon: Major Charles White Retrospective to be Presented at Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art

  A LARGE-SCALE RETROSPECTIVE of works by Charles White (1918-1979) debuts this summer in Chicago and will travel to New York and Los Angeles, cities where the artist spent key periods of his life. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced the exhibition today. “Charles White: A Retrospective” is organized by MoMA, where it will...
Studio Museum in Harlem Offers 'Last Look' Before Making Way for New Building

Studio Museum in Harlem Offers ‘Last Look’ Before Making Way for New Building

  AN ERA IN ART HISTORY is coming to an end in order to make way for the future. The Studio Museum in Harlem is closing for three years while a new building designed by architect David Adjaye is built at its current West 125th Street location. The groundbreaking is set for this fall and...
On the Horizon in African American Art: What to Look Forward to in 2018

On the Horizon in African American Art: What to Look Forward to in 2018

THE YEAR AHEAD MARKS KEY HISTORIC MILESTONES. Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. King’s legacy will be honored this year through many programs and events. A new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture examines the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign,...