From left, Robert E. Holmes, Victoria Valentine, Nigel Freeman.


BEYOND THE INCONTROVERTIBLE INFLUENCE and authority of curators and scholars, professionals from a variety of backgrounds are playing increasingly important roles in preserving art and culture. To explore this phenomenon, Culture Type is joining Swann Auction Galleries for an Oct. 3 discussion about “New Voices in African-American Fine Art.”

Robert E. Holmes, a Los Angeles-based attorney and collector, is discussing his involvement in the release of Beauford Delaney’s work from storage in Paris. The experience, nearly four decades ago, fostered Holmes’s interest in collecting African American art.

African American artists are redefining the canon. I am sharing insights from Culture Type where I am documenting this transformational moment of unprecedented recognition of both contemporary artists and historic figures such as Delaney.

We will be in conversation with Nigel Freeman, Swann’s director of African-American Fine Art. Freeman is hosting the event in advance of Swann’s fall sale (Oct. 5). Featuring important works by Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, Norman Lewis, Henry O. Tanner, Alma Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, and Delaney, the auction includes more than 150 lots.

Swann is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its African-American Fine Art department. I am looking forward to helping to mark the milestone with a conversation about non-traditional roles and new perspectives on African American art. CT




The event is Tuesday, Oct. 3, 6-8 p.m., at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. Space is limited and RSVPs are required. RSVP here or email


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