“Portrait of a Mother and Daughter” (1841) by Robert S. Duncanson. | Hammonds House Museum

This post will be updated throughout the week
Feb. 13, 2021

Oldest Robert Duncanson Painting
The inauguration of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris brought renewed attention to 19th century artist Robert S. Duncanson (1821-1872) when his painting “Landscape With Rainbow” (1859), on loan for a day from the Smithsonian, was highlighted during the gift-giving presentation that followed the ceremony. When curators at Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta saw the events on television, they were beside themselves. The small museum in Atlanta, owns the oldest known painting by Duncanson, “Portrait of a Mother and Daughter” (1841). | Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Newfields Job Listing Sparks Outrage
The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields is seeking a new director and the job description from m/Oppenheim Executive Search cited a variety of leadership, operations, curatorial, and programming duties, including “animate the permanent collection galleries in innovative ways that attract a broader and more diverse audience while maintaining the Museum’s traditional, core, white art audience.” After a social media backlash, the description was revised and Newfields president and CEO Charles Venable said the museum’s “audience had been and still is too homogenous and that it feels responsibility to diversify it.” | Indianapolis Star

Feb. 12, 2021

Alexis Johnson Returns to Paula Cooper Gallery
Dealer Alexis Johnson was on staff at Paula Cooper in New York from 2010 through 2016. Then she spent four years at a director at Levy Gorvy in New York. Now she’s returned to Paula Cooper in a senior role. She officially starts Feb. 16. | IMAGE: Above right, Alexis Johnson. | Photo by Christine Chambers


Tubman Museum Hires First Black Director
Since late January, Harold Young has been serving as the new executive director of the Tubman Museum in Macon, Ga. Young is the first Black director of the museum dedicated to the legacy of Harriet Tubman, as well as the broader narrative of African American art, culture, and history. | The Telegraph


Gavlak Gallery announced its representation of Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist April Bey on Feb. 11, 2021.

Feb. 11, 2021

April Bey Joined Gavlak Gallery
With locations in Los Angeles and Palm Beach, Fla., Gavlak Gallery now represents April Bey, whose interdisciplinary practice is “an introspective and social critique of American and Bahamian culture, contemporary pop culture, feminism, generational theory, social media, AfroFuturism, AfroSurrealism, post- colonialism and constructs of race within supremacist systems.” The Bahamian American artist lives and works in Los Angeles. The exhibition “April Bey: Atlantica, The Gilda Region” is forthcoming at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles in 2021.


Equal Justice Initiative Benefit Auction
A benefit auction supporting the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is live on Artsy through Feb. 25. The Montgomery, Ala., nonprofit founded by Bryan Stevenson is dedicated to “ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.” Several galleries donated 15 works by a variety of artists, including two Black artists, Purvis Young and Omar Victor Diop. EJI is receiving 80 percent of the auction proceeds, with the remaining 20 percent going to the galleries.

Feb. 10, 2021

2021 Rock Hall Nominees Announced
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced 16 nominees for 2021 induction at the Cleveland museum, including Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick. Fan voting is open through April 30. The public can vote for up to five nominees daily. Inductees will be announced in May and a ceremony will be held in the fall.


New Digital Catalog Documents Art & Civil Rights Exhibitions
In Jackson, Miss., the Mississippi Museum of Art and Tougaloo College joined forces on five exhibitions and related programming exploring civil rights and justice through the lens of art. A new digital catalog documents the collaborations, which were presented between 2018 and 2020.


Reynolda House Museum Announces Promised Gifts
In Winston-Salem, N.C., the Reynolda House Museum of Art announced three promised gifts of artworks by Georgia O’Keeffe and Romare Bearden. The donations from founding director Barbara Babcock Millhouse include “Alto Composite” (1974) and “Moonlight Express” (1978), two collages by Bearden, the Charlotte, N.C.-born artist, which will be on view in spring 2022 exhibition at the museum, focused on the medium of collage.


New Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Board of Trustees members, Clockwise, from top left, Howard Dodson Jr., Atiya Abdelmalik, Yared Alula, and Nathanial P. Ford Sr. | Photos Courtesy Cummer Museum

Feb. 9, 2021

Cummer Museum Adds 4 New Board Members
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla., added four board members, all of them Black: Atiya Abdelmalik, healthcare and community engagement professional and author of “A Life Worth Saving: A Nurse’s Journey from Sickness to Healing”; Yared Alula, vice president and assistant general counsel of the PGA TOUR; Howard Dodson Jr., former director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and Howard University Libraries and former director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and Nathanial P. Ford Sr., CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Their three-year terms began Jan. 1, 2021. Since December, Andrea Barnwell Brownlee has been serving as director and CEO of the Cummer Museum. Prior to the new appointments, the museum’s 2020-21 board of trustees, a group of 21, had one Black member (James A. Richardson II, an Environmental Protection Board program administrator with the City of Jacksonville).


Massimo de Carlo Announced Representation of Jordan Casteel
Painter Jordan Casteel has joined Massimo de Carlo gallery. She is now jointly represented by Casey Kaplan in New York and Massimo de Carlo, which has gallery locations in Milan, London, and Hong Kong. | Culture Type


Mellon Foundation is Funding 5 Monuments Projects
After establishing a $250 million Monuments Project designed to “reimagine and transform commemorative spaces to celebrate America’s diverse history” last October, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced grants to fund five projects with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center (Sumner, Miss.); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, Calif.); MASS Design Group (Boston, Massachusetts); Social and Public Art Resource Center (Los Angeles, Calif.); and Prospect New Orleans (New Orleans, La.). Prospect is receiving $2 million from Mellon (along with $500,000 from Open Society Foundations) to support seven newly commissioned artist projects by Adriana Corral, EJ Hill, Simone Leigh, Glenn Ligon, Dave McKenzie, Anastasia Pelias, and Nari Ward that will be on view during Prospect 5 (Oct. 23, 2021-Jan. 23, 2022) and extend beyond the run of the citywide exhibition.


Georgia Professor is Studying African American Museums
Amy Potter, a professor of geography at Georgia Southern University, received a $75,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how African American history and culture are presented in African American history museums.


CAAM to Explore George Washington Carver, the Artist
In 2024, the Getty Foundation will host the third edition of Pacific Standard Time, its multi-venue collaboration of exhibitions and programs throughout Southern California. The California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles is among the participating institutions and will mount an exhibition about George Washington Carver, (1864-1943) the groundbreaking agricultural scientist, entrepreneur, and artist, who taught at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. With a $120,000 grant from Getty, CAAM will present “World Without End: The George Washington Carver Project.” The exhibition will focus on “Carver’s rarely seen artworks alongside his laboratory equipment, paint samples, and formulas.” The Carver research of Los Angeles-based assemblage artist Judson Powell prompted the exhibition, which will also feature his work alongside other “contemporary artists, scientists, and engineers working in dialogue with Carver and his interests in nature, biology, activism, and sustainability.” | Forbes


PAMM acquisitions by Kwame Braithwaite, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, and Gordon Parks

Feb. 8, 2021

PAMM Announced New Acquisitions
The Pérez Art Museum Miami held its Art + Soul celebration for the PAMM Fund for African American Art on Saturday, Feb. 6. The annual party was virtual this year and the 2021 honoree was chef Marcus Samuelsson. The news of the event was a name change (the fund is now known as the “Fund for Black Art”), $1.4 million raised, and three new acquisitions—”Untitled, Harlem, New York” (1963), a photograph by Gordon Parks; “Untitled (AJASS Model on Black Background)” (1970s/2019), a photograph by Kwame Brathwaite; and “Dance in Heat II” (2020), a painting by Tunji Adeniyi-Jones. Watch the event here


Charles White Archive Fully Digitized
The Archives of American Art announced the papers of Charles W. White are fully digitized and accessible on its website (the digitization was actually completed in 2020). Measuring more than 12.9 linear feet, the archive of the Los Angeles-based artist, printmaker and educator dates from 1933 to 1987, with the most of the material spanning the 1960s to 1970s.


Presidential Sneakers for Sale at Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s is offering a pair of Nike basketball sneakers designed for President Barack Obama in 2009. Trimmed in white leather with visible Flywire technology, the shoes have a Presidential seal on the tongue and a red #44 on the side of the toe. Only two pairs of the size 12.5 Hyperdunks exist. One of them is currently on view at Sotheby’s New York and goes on sale at the start of President’s Day weekend, Friday, Feb. 12 at 4:44 pm EST, a nod to the 44th President. The consignor is not disclosed. The price is $25,000. CT


IMAGES: PAMM Acquisitions: From left, KWAME BRAITHWAITE, “Untitled (AJASS Model on Black Background),” 1970s/2019. | Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Jorge M. Pérez, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PAMM Ambassadors for Black Art; TUNJI ADENIYI-JONES, “Dance in Heat II,” 2020. | Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Jorge M. Pérez, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PAMM Ambassadors for Black Art; GORDON PARKS,” Untitled, Harlem, New York,” 1963. | © The Gordon Parks Foundation, Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, PAMM Ambassadors for Black Art. Courtesy The Gordon Parks Foundation and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York


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