MANY POPULAR AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS are making versions of their work more accessible through objects and products sold at museums and other outlets. A box of artist-inspired notecards, an artful calendar, or a new coffee table book makes the perfect gift. In November, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” opened at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and there are a bounty of exhibition-related items for sale in the museum’s store and online. From Betye Saar and Kehinde Wiley to Wadsworth Jarrell, Faith Ringgold, Nick Cave, and a slate of new photographers transforming black image making, there are many new gift options inspired by African American artists. Its Museum Store Sunday. Welcome to the Culture Type Gift Guide!


Faith Ringgold: Woman Free Yourself Enamel Pin | $10

Enamel pin from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) replicates “Woman Free Yourself” (1971), an offset lithograph by Faith Ringgold, one in a series of four prints with black feminist messages the artist made in the early 1970s. The work is in the collection of MoMA. | From MoMA Store


Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment Book | $12.79

Children’s picture book inspired by the true story of Parker Curry, the little girl whose image looking up in awe at First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait went viral on social media. On display in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the painting by Amy Sherald features Obama wearing a graphic gown inspired by patterns found in the works of Gee’s Bend quilters and Mondrian. By Parker Curry and Jessica Curry with illustrations by Brittany Jackson (for ages 4-8). | From Amazon


The Iconic Art of Ernie Barnes 2020 Wall Calendar | $14.73

Covered by Ernie Barnes‘s “The Sugar Shack” (1976), the artist’s celebrated painting made famous on the 1970s television show Good Times, this calendar showcases his meditations on the African American experience, black life in the South, in particular. Published by Shades of Color, a black-owned company that specializes in gift products, in cooperation with Ernie Barnes Family Trust. | From Amazon


Betye Saar Spiral Journal | $14.95

Produced to coincide with the exhibition “Betye Saar: Call and Response” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Blank-page, spiral-bound journal based on one of the Betye Saar‘s actual notebooks (100 pages). | From LACMA Store


National Museum of African American History & Culture 2020 Wall Calendar | $14.99

“Spring—Delightful Flower Bed” (1967) by Alma Thomas graces the cover of this wall calendar from Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Selections from the museum’s art collection by Thomas, Minnie Evans, Amy Sherald, Nelson Stevens, Hughie Lee-Smith, Charles White, Sargent Claude Johnson, and Thornton Dial, among others, are featured. | From Amazon


Revelations Art from the African American South Boxed Notecards | $16.95

Produced to coincide with “Revelations: Art from the African American South” exhibition at de Young Museum in San Francisco, 20 boxed blank notecards feature images by artists Mose Tolliver, Ronald Lockett, Purvis Young, Mary Lee Bendolph, and Thornton Dial. Five images, four cards of each (5 x 7 inches). | From de Young Museum Store


African American Artists Boxed Notecards | $16.99

Boxed set of 16 blank notecards featuring works by Romare Bearden, Eldzier Cortor, Beauford Delaney, and Jacob Lawrence from the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts collection. Four images, four cards of each. (Box cover image is Romare Bearden’s “Three Folk Musicians,” (1967). | From VMFA Museum Shop


Jean-Michel Basquiat UNO Card Game | $19.99

Deck of 112 UNO game cards, part of UNO Artiste Series No. 1, featuring artworks by Jean-Michel Basquiat. From Mattel produced in cooperation with the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. | From Macy’s


Jason Moran CD – Mass {Howl, eon} | $24.99

The first solo exhibition of Artist/Pianist/Composer Jason Moran is currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Moran, known for his collaborations with visual artists such as Julie Mehretu, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker, often teams up on projects with his wife, vocalist Alice Hall Moran. The couple founded Yes Records in 2016 and have featured artwork by Mehretu and Amy Sherald on CD covers. | From Yes Records


Women Artists T-Shirt | $25

White cotton t-shirt lists last names of diverse group of prominent women artists including (Amy) Sherald, (Chakaia) Booker, (Frida) Kahlo, (Judy) Chicago, (Shirin) Neshat, (Joan) Mitchell, and Saar. (While Betye Saar is more recognized, Alison Saar recently had an exhibition at NMWA and is represented in the museum’s collection.) Tee project is collaboration between the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) and District of Clothing, a black woman-owned apparel company. Both are located in Washington, D.C. | From NMWA Shop


Nina Chanel Abney/Peanuts Long Tote by Herschel | $24.99

One of seven artists who is part of the Peanuts Global Artist Collective, Nina Chanel Abney applied her bold abstract style to the design of this Peanuts comic strip-inspired, washed cotton canvas tote bag. | From Herschel


Basquiat ‘Now’s The Time’ Long Tote by Herschel | $27.99

Washed cotton canvas tote features design derived from Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s “Now’s The Time” (1985) vinyl record painting. Tote also comes in black and ash rose. | From Herschel


Betye Saar: Call and Response Book | $31.35

Bound to replicate a sketchbook, fully illustrated volume accompanies “Betye Saar: Call and Response” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the first exhibition dedicated to Betye Saar‘s sketchbooks, dating back to the beginning of her career. | From Amazon


The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion Book | $34.95

Fully illustrated volume by Antwaun Sargent features a new contingent of black photographers driving a “radical transformation” in contemporary art and fashion: Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Awol Erizku, Nadine Ijewere, Quil Lemons, Namsa Leuba, Renell Medrano, Tyler Mitchell, Jamal Nxedlana, Daniel Obasi, Ruth Ossai, Adrienne Raquel, Dana Scruggs, and Stephen Tayo. (Cover Image: Tyler Mitchell). | From Amazon


Frank Bowling Cover Girl T-Shirt | £30 (about $40)

Produced to accompany Frank Bowling’s first major retrospective, on view at Tate Britain May 31-Aug. 26, 2019, this t-shirt features “Cover Girl” (1976) by Bowling. Another t-shirt is available, inspired by “Polish Rebecca” (1971), one of the artist’s Map paintings. Polyester blend. | From Tate Museum Shop


Faith Ringgold Scarf | $95

The design of this scarf from the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles was inspired by “Windows of the Wedding #4: Man” (1974) by Faith Ringgold. The mixed media painting is featured in “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985,” a group exhibition currently on view at MOCA Los Angeles. A catalog was also produced on the occasion of the show. | From MOCA LA Store


Frank Bowling Madambutterly Limited Edition Pocket Square | £85 (about $110)

Celebrating Frank Bowling’s first major retrospective, on view at Tate Britain May 31-Aug. 26, 2019, this pocket square features the artist’s “Madambutterly” (2011) painting. Produced in a limited edition of 250 by Tate x Drake’s, the London-based menswear label. Made of cotton, modal and cashmere. Pocket squares are also available with images of “Roar” (2011), “Wadi √ Two” (2011), “After Matisse” (2014). | From Tate Museum Shop


Kehinde Wiley Beach Towel: The Virgin Martyr St. Cecilia | $125

Cotton terry cloth beach towel features “The Virgin Martyr St. Cecilia,” a 2008 painting by Kehinde Wiley. Measures 32 x 71 inches. | From Brooklyn Museum Shop


Mary Lee Bendolph ‘Blocks’ Rug | $189

Hand-loomed cotton rug replicates “Blocks” by Mary Lee Bendolph, a Gee’s Bend quilter whose work was featured in the exhibition “Coming Together: Artistic Traditions of the Quilt and the Print,” which coincided with “Revelations: Art from the African American South” at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Measures 36 x 60 inches (3 x 5 feet). | From de Young Museum Shop


Limited-Edition Drinking Glasses by Nick Cave | $300

Benefitting Artadia, Set of four 16-ounce drinking glasses featuring four different Soundsuit designs by Nick Cave. Limited edition of 250. Created in celebration of the nonprofit’s 20th anniversary, works by Bethany Collins, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Hank Willis Thomas, among other artists, are also available. | From Artware Edtions


“Soul of the Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” has traveled from London to California, with five venues presenting the exhibition. At each stop, museums offered products related to the show. Currently on view at the de Young museum in San Francisco, there are many more items for sale, compared with earlier stops—from tee shirts and tote bags to mugs, magnets, puzzles, and an exhibition poster. A selection of relevant books and accessories by local African American artisans are also available. See all products


Barbara Jones-Hogu T-Shirt | $29

Cotton t-shirt features “Unite” (1971) by Barbara Jones-Hogu, a founding member of the artist collective AFRICOBRA. The graphic print is Jones-Hogu’s most well-known work. | From de Young Museum Shop


Black Panther Party Legacy Mug | $15.95

Ceramic mug, developed exclusively with the Oakland, Calif.-based Black Panther Party Legacy Collection, features Panther logo on front with title of “Soul of a Nation” exhibition on reverse. | From de Young Museum Shop


Soul of a Nation Puzzle | $24.95

1,000-piece puzzle depicts “Revolutionary (Angela Davis),” a 1971 portrait by Wadsworth A. Jarrell, a founding member of the artist collective AFRICOBRA whose work is presented in “Soul of a Nation.” Measures 19.25 x 26.625 inches assembled. | From de Young Museum Shop


The holidays are an opportune time to support the arts. Beyond exchanging gifts with friends and family (or even in lieu of the practice) consider a museum membership and/or making a donation to an art museum centered around artists of African descent such as the California African American Museum, Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), or the Studio Museum in Harlem. You can also make a contribution to your local art museum, local arts organization, or use the Association of African American Museums list of member institutions as a guide.

Another way to give is to support one of several nonprofits formed by critically recognized artists. Co-founded by Titus Kaphar, NXTHVN in New Haven, Conn., provides artists with fellowships and residencies. Also consider organizations such as Mark Bradford’s Art + Practice in Los Angeles; Project Row Houses, co-founded by Rick Lowe in Houston, Texas; and Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation in Chicago, organizations that house programming and exhibition spaces, provide platforms and resources for artists, and serve as community hubs. Happy Holidays! CT


Editor’s Note: The featured items are suggested finds, subject to availability and described per each vendor’s summary. Stated prices reflect pricing at time of publication. Products at various museums may be available at discounted prices for members.


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