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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.

Posts tagged "Smithsonian"
National Portrait Gallery: Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Explore 'UnSeen' Narratives in Historic Portraiture

National Portrait Gallery: Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Explore ‘UnSeen’ Narratives in Historic Portraiture

  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hanging half loose from its stretcher, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson reveals an image of a black woman behind it. It’s a provocative juxtaposition that raises a question about the relationship between the two subjects. Her hair is covered while her partially shown shoulder and leg are bare. She is brown-skinned...
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...
Smithsonian's African American Museum is Getting its Own U.S. Postage Stamp

Smithsonian’s African American Museum is Getting its Own U.S. Postage Stamp

  TO CELEBRATE ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is being immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp. Based on a photograph of the David Adjaye-designed building, the stamp features a daytime image of the museum’s exterior. The Forever stamp will be available nationwide this friday. “Black history...
Sept. 23-24: Smithsonian's African American Museum is Marking First Anniversary with Weekend of Special Events

Sept. 23-24: Smithsonian’s African American Museum is Marking First Anniversary with Weekend of Special Events

  ONE YEAR AFTER ITS LONG-AWAITED DEBUT, overwhelming interest in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) hasn’t waned. The museum dedicated to the contributions and experiences of black Americans opened Sept. 24, 2016, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Often referred to as the “Blacksonian,” the museum turns one...
Google Begins Black History Month with Doodle Dedicated to African American Sculptor Edmonia Lewis

Google Begins Black History Month with Doodle Dedicated to African American Sculptor Edmonia Lewis

Sculptor Edmonia Lewis by Sophie Diao   TODAY’S GOOGLE DOODLE celebrates artist Edmonia Lewis (1844?-1907). She is considered the first black woman to receive international recognition in the fine art world as a sculptor. The Feb. 1 tribute marks the beginning of Black History Month. The Google logo is executed in script with a painted...
President Obama Dedicates New Smithsonian African American Museum, Quotes Langston Hughes Declaring 'I, Too, Am America'

President Obama Dedicates New Smithsonian African American Museum, Quotes Langston Hughes Declaring ‘I, Too, Am America’

Embed from Getty Images   For while the tale of how we suffer and how we are delighted and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard – President Obama, quoting James Baldwin   RINGING A HISTORIC CHURCH BELL, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama officially marked the opening...
Retrospective: The Latest News in Black Art - Fall Exhibitions Open in New York, Los Angeles

Retrospective: The Latest News in Black Art – Fall Exhibitions Open in New York, Los Angeles

RETROSPECTIVE is a review of the latest news and happenings related to art by and about people of African descent. This week, highlights include news that Elizabeth Catlett‘s alma mater is attempting make amends for a decades-old discriminatory housing policy. David Adjaye and Chris Ofili may be lighting London’s historic bridges. Steve McQueen won the...
At Smithsonian, Carl Van Vechten's Photographs Document Familiar Faces, Key Figures From Harlem's Heydays

At Smithsonian, Carl Van Vechten’s Photographs Document Familiar Faces, Key Figures From Harlem’s Heydays

Artist Jacob Lawrence, photo by CARL VAN VECHTEN   SOME OF THE MOST AMAZING PORTRAITS of 20th century Harlem figures were captured by Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964). A writer and photographer, Van Vechten socialized with the greats of African American arts and letters, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. A white patron of the...
Retrospective: The Latest News in Black Art - Willie Cole's Work is Helping to School KU Students

Retrospective: The Latest News in Black Art – Willie Cole’s Work is Helping to School KU Students

RETROSPECTIVE is a review of the latest news and happenings related to art by and about people of African descent. This week, highlights include news that timed entry tickets for the Sept. 24 grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., will be released starting this morning; an...
Foodways: Artists and Museums are Embracing the Cultural, Creative and Convivial Aspects of the Culinary Experience

Foodways: Artists and Museums are Embracing the Cultural, Creative and Convivial Aspects of the Culinary Experience

Collection of the National Museum of Africa American History and Culture   AFRICAN AMERICANS have a storied history with food. Published last September, “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks” seeks to tamp down “the demeaning stereotype of an illiterate ‘Aunt Jemima’ who cooked mostly by natural instinct” by emphasizing the contributions women...
Retrospective: The Latest News in Black Art - Plans for a Memorial to Lynching Victims

Retrospective: The Latest News in Black Art – Plans for a Memorial to Lynching Victims

RETROSPECTIVE is a review of the latest news and happenings related to art by and about people of African descent. This week, highlights include plans for a memorial to lynching victims in Montgomery, Ala.; expansion of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater’s New York headquarters; and news that an outdoor installation of whimsically painted abandoned homes in...
Coming Soon: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Smithsonian's African American Museum

Coming Soon: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Smithsonian’s African American Museum

From left, architects Phil Freelon and David Adjaye discuss the design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine   WASHINGTON, D.C. — THE COUNTDOWN IS OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY. Two months from today, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will celebrate its grand opening...
The Smithsonian is Mounting a Bill Traylor Retrospective, the First Major Exhibition Devoted to an Artist Born a Slave

The Smithsonian is Mounting a Bill Traylor Retrospective, the First Major Exhibition Devoted to an Artist Born a Slave

  THE SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM (SAAM) says it is mounting the first-ever major exhibition devoted to the work of an artist born a slave. “Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor,” the retrospective of self-taught African American artist Bill Traylor will open March 16, 2018. The Washington, D.C., museum made the announcement in conjunction...
Portrait of an Artist: Baltimore-based Amy Sherald Wins Smithsonian's Outwin Boochever Competition

Portrait of an Artist: Baltimore-based Amy Sherald Wins Smithsonian’s Outwin Boochever Competition

  EXPLORING RACE, REPRESENTATION AND PERFORMANCE, there is a certain something about the portraits painted by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald. Painted in grayscale, the bodies of her subjects are absent of color. Everything else in the large-scale fantastical portraits of African Americans—their distinctive clothing and the background against which they are set—celebrates color. The Smithsonian...