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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.

For Her First Solo Exhibition, Sydney Vernon Brings New Life and Meaning to Moments Captured in Treasured Family Photographs

For Her First Solo Exhibition, Sydney Vernon Brings New Life and Meaning to Moments Captured in Treasured Family Photographs

  PATTERNED BLUE WALLPAPER defines the room. Standing in profile in front of a mirrored vanity table, an expectant mother turns her head toward the viewer. She smiles and proudly rests her hand on her growing belly. Documenting the moment, the mirror reflects her image. Other works depict a little...
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch: 'Protest is the Highest Form of Patriotism, You Are Trying to Make a Country Better'

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch: ‘Protest is the Highest Form of Patriotism, You Are Trying to Make a Country Better’

  THIS IS NOT NEW, unfortunately. America has been killing black people in one form or another since the nation’s founding. From lynching to murder by police, the history is well-documented and contextualized in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), most poignantly with the display of...
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AfriCOBRA Artists Honored at School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2020 Virtual Commencement, Offer Advice to Graduates

AfriCOBRA Artists Honored at School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2020 Virtual Commencement, Offer Advice to Graduates

AfriCOBRA artists Jae Jarrell and Wadsworth Jarrell   After years of hard work and dedication to their crafts and curriculums, 2020 graduates are unable to experience the joy and satisfaction of gathering for ceremonies celebrating their accomplishments, due to widespread social distancing mandates in the wake of COVID-19. In-person commencements have been replaced with virtual...
Feature Film About Florida Highwaymen Painters is Coming Soon

Feature Film About Florida Highwaymen Painters is Coming Soon

  THE DRAMATIC TRUE STORY of the Highwaymen, the Florida artists who made a living selling paintings from the trunks of their cars during segregation, is being made into a feature film. “The Highwaymen” is about a group of 26 African American artists, most of them self-taught, who turned out countless paintings of Florida’s lush,...
Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices

Pérez Art Museum Miami Exhibition Celebrates African American Art Acquisitions, Presents Rich Array of Artistic Voices

  “Untitled (Parade)” (2016) by Kevin Beasley   HISTORICALLY, FEW MAINSTREAM American museums have collected art by African American artists in a meaningful or representational manner. To address generational deficits and fill gaps, many museums have established special funds and committees dedicated to acquiring African American art. A collection exhibition currently on view at Pérez...
When He is Not in His Painting Studio, Tadesse Mesfin is Training the Next Generation of Ethiopian Artists

When He is Not in His Painting Studio, Tadesse Mesfin is Training the Next Generation of Ethiopian Artists

Tadesse Mesfin in his Addis Ababa studo   A PROMINENT FIGURE in Ethiopian Modernism, Tadesse Mesfin thrives on two creative fronts: making paintings and training the next generation of artists. Women are the protagonists in Mesfin’s ongoing series “Pillars of Life.” The paintings pay homage to the many women who work as smallholder vendors in...
Emma Amos, 83, a Dynamic Painter, Masterful Colorist, and Member of Spiral Collective, Has Died

Emma Amos, 83, a Dynamic Painter, Masterful Colorist, and Member of Spiral Collective, Has Died

A PIONEERING ARTIST who made captivating, poignant, and culturally insightful works, Emma Amos (1937-2020) has died. She was 83. Amos passed away on May 20 in Bedford, N.H., of natural causes after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, where Amos has been represented since 2016, shared news of her...
The Printmaking Practice of Late Artist Emma Amos Was Expansive and Experimental and Her Output Will Endure

The Printmaking Practice of Late Artist Emma Amos Was Expansive and Experimental and Her Output Will Endure

  OFTEN DESCRIBED as the youngest and only female member of Spiral, the short-lived artist collective co-founded more than half a century ago by Romare Bearden, Charles Alston, Hale Woodruff, and Norman Lewis, Emma Amos (1937-2020) bridged that historic period and the current moment. Based in New York throughout her career, Amos died May 20...
Using Japanese Firing Technique, Former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon Makes Ceramic Sculpture Rich with Personal History and African Influences

Using Japanese Firing Technique, Former Black Panther Akinsanya Kambon Makes Ceramic Sculpture Rich with Personal History and African Influences

  THE POWERFUL CERAMIC SCULPTURES of Akinsanya Kambon (aka Mark Teemer) are embedded with history, identity, and ancient techniques with spiritual vibes. An extensive selection of his works is on view “American Expressions/African Roots: Akinsanya Kambon’s Ceramic Sculpture,” at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Kambon has traveled to Africa 14 times, conducting research and...
Garrett Bradley on Her Short Film 'America': 'I Didn’t Want to Shy Away From What it Would Mean to Title it After My Country'

Garrett Bradley on Her Short Film ‘America’: ‘I Didn’t Want to Shy Away From What it Would Mean to Title it After My Country’

Still from “America” (2019) by Garrett Bradley   ARTIST AND FILMMAKER Garrett Bradley makes lyrical films that explore the challenges of contemporary life and surface lost histories. A pair of revelations about the legacy of silent film inspired one of her latest projects. In 2013, the Library of Congress (LOC) released a report declaring America’s...
Longtime Home of Artist Alma Thomas For Sale in Washington, D.C., for $2.2 Million+

Longtime Home of Artist Alma Thomas For Sale in Washington, D.C., for $2.2 Million+

Long & Foster Real Estate   A RED BRICK ITALIANATE RESIDENCE in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., was home to artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978) for more than 70 years. The house played an integral role in her life and artistic practice. The kitchen served as her studio, where she made the dab-patterned abstract...
Ghanaian Photographer Prince Gyasi: 'I Usually Tell Stories Through My iPhone Lens and With the Use of Color'

Ghanaian Photographer Prince Gyasi: ‘I Usually Tell Stories Through My iPhone Lens and With the Use of Color’

  TWENTY-FIVE YEAR OLDS are obsessed with their iPhones the world over. In this respect, Prince Gyasi is no different from his peers. It’s the nature of his obsession that sets him apart. He uses his phone to text and post on social media, but his main priority is taking pictures. Gyasi is an internationally...
Frieze New York: After Winning Last Year's Stand Prize With Photographer Ming Smith, Jenkins Johnson is Presenting Eclectic Mix of 10 Artists in Online Viewing Room

Frieze New York: After Winning Last Year’s Stand Prize With Photographer Ming Smith, Jenkins Johnson is Presenting Eclectic Mix of 10 Artists in Online Viewing Room

“America Seen Through Stars and Stripes, New York City” (1976) by Ming Smith   JENKINS JOHNSON GALLERY won the 2019 Stand Prize at Frieze New York for a presentation dedicated to pioneering photographer Ming Smith. Black-and-white photographs from the 1970s and 80s, including a self portrait, were displayed gallery-style throughout the booth. Smith’s subjects included...
Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco Raised $450,000+ in Online Benefit Auction, Helping to Sustain Operations

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco Raised $450,000+ in Online Benefit Auction, Helping to Sustain Operations

MoAD Executive Director Monetta White reported results of online benefit auction in video message to supporters.   ARTISTS, GALLERIES, AND COLLECTORS answered a call for support and came together to help the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, which has faced a critical funding shortfall since temporarily closing in the wake of...
Showcasing Works by Bob Thompson, Benny Andrews, and Robert Colescott, Here's What Michael Rosenfeld Gallery's Frieze New York Booth Would've Looked Like

Showcasing Works by Bob Thompson, Benny Andrews, and Robert Colescott, Here’s What Michael Rosenfeld Gallery’s Frieze New York Booth Would’ve Looked Like

  THE ARCHITECTURAL MODEL envisions what might have been. A large-scale painting by Bob Thompson (1937-1966) dominates an expansive wall on the exterior of the art fair booth. Painted three years before the artist’s death at age 28, “The Golden Ass” (1963) is a complex entanglement of silhouetted human and animal figures rendered in a...
Auction Results: Swann's First Sale Since COVID-19 Shutdown Features Printed & Manuscript African Americana and Art-Related Ephemera

Auction Results: Swann’s First Sale Since COVID-19 Shutdown Features Printed & Manuscript African Americana and Art-Related Ephemera

  PROTESTING POOR WORKING CONDITIONS, Memphis sanitation workers walked off their jobs in February 1968. More than 1,300 black men went on strike. Carrying signs that declared “I Am A Man,” they demanded recognition of their union, better wages, and improved safety standards. Two months later, Martin Luther King Jr., went to Memphis to support...