The following is a snapshot of the latest news in Black art:

Raymond Codrington. | Courtesy Weeksville Heritage Center


Brooklyn’s Weeksville Heritage Center Names New CEO
Raymond Codrington is joining Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn as CEO. The news was announced April 6. A cultural anthropologist, Codrington has served as executive director of Hi-ARTS in East Harlem since 2015. He starts at Weeksville on April 19. | Read More


Whitney Museum Promotes Adrienne Edwards to Director of Curatorial Affairs
In New York, the Whitney Museum of America Art announced the appointment of Adrienne Edwards as Engell Speyer Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs. Edwards has been serving as curator of performance at the museum since 2018. Her promotion is effective July 1. | Culture Type


National Portrait Gallery Appoints Rhea L. Combs Director of Curatorial Affairs
Rhea L. Combs is joining the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in Washington, D.C., as director of curatorial affairs. The news was announced April 6. Previously, she was working at another Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where she was curator of film and photography and head of the museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts. Combs official starts at NPG on May 10. | Culture Type


Curator Eunice Bélidor Joins Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
On April 7, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts announced the appointment of Eunice Bélidor as its Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Curator of Quebec and Canadian Contemporary Art (1945 to Today). She is the first Black person hired full-time in the museum’s history. Bélidor officially starts at MMFA April 12. | Culture Type


Hamiltonian Artists Appoints New Fellowship Director
In Washington, D.C., Hamiltonian Artists announced Tomora Wright (right) will serve as its fellowship director, a newly created position. A nonprofit contemporary arts center, Hamiltonian Artists awards two-year fellowships to emerging artists. The opportunity includes an annual $2,000 stipend, help improving their visibility through exhibitions and public programs and developing the entrepreneurial business skills necessary to advance their practices. Previously, Wright was the visual arts exhibition manager at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Md. She has also served marketing manager at Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center in Brentwood, Md. She officially joins Hamiltonian Artists on April 13.


William Floyd Joins Public Art Fund Board
On April 8, the Public Art Fund in New York announced the addition of six new directors to its board of directors, including William Floyd, Google’s director of government affairs and public policy. | Artforum


Newark Arts Announces Five New Board Members
In New Jersey, Newark Arts named five new board members, including Ryan Monroe and Kitab Rollins, who joined this month, and Natasha Dyer, who was added in 2020. The news was announced April 8.


2021 Guggenheim Fellowships Announced
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded fellowships to 184 artists, writers, scholars and scientists. The news was announced April 8. The 2021 fellows include filmmakers Cauleen Smith and Tourmaline; photographer Ron Tarver; and artists Crystal Z Campbell, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Dread Scott. Fellowships were also awarded to Philadelphia artist Jesse Krimes, who is featured in Nicole R. Fleetwood’s “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” project, and Delaware-based painter Peter B. Williams, whose fellowship was underwritten by Robert De Niro, a tribute to his father, Robert De Niro Sr., a painter and 1968 Guggenheim Fellow. | See Full List


New Acquisitions: This week, the Morgan Library & Museum announced it had acquired a group of prints by Martin Puryear in January 2021. Curator Isabelle Dervaux discusses three of the prints. | Video by Morgan Library


Morgan Library Acquires Martin Puryear Prints
In New York, the Morgan Library & Museum acquired 20 prints by Martin Puryear made between 2001 and 2014 at Paulson Bott Press (now Paulson Fontaine Press), a woman-owned printer in Berkeley, Calif. Based in Upstate New York, Puryear represented the United States at the 2019 Venice Biennale and his exhibition “Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions” (2015-16) was on view at the Morgan. The museum released a video about the prints on April 8.


New Acquisition: DEREK FORDJOUR, (b. 1974), “Eulogy,” 2020 (acrylic, charcoal, cardboard, and oil pastel on newspaper mounted on canvas, framed: 74 1/4 x 50 1/4 inches / 188.595 x 127.635 cm.). | Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. Purchased with funds donated by the MACC Collection of Contemporary Art, 2020.40


PAFA Announces 168 Acquisitions, the Majority by African American and Women Artists
On March 31, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia announced 168 additions to its permanent collection, through gifts and purchases. Produced between 1869 to 2020, one-third of the artworks are by African American artists and one-third are by women. Many are featured in PAFA’s 2020-23 exhibition programming. “Eulogy,” a painting by Derek Fordjour and a group of prints by photographer Kwame Braithwaite are among the acquisitions.


New Acquisitions: NELLIE MAE ROWE (American, 1900–1982), “Untitled (Dandy),” 1978-1982 (crayon and pencil on paper). | High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Gift of Harvie and Charles Abney, 2021.40


High Museum Receives Gift of More Than 50 Works by Self-Taught Artists
Atlanta collectors Harvie and Charles (“Chuck”) Abney donated more than 50 works by Southern self-taught artists, including Lonnie Holley, Howard Finster, Ronald Lockett, Minnie Evans, Juanita Rogers, Henry Speller, J.B. Murray, Archie Byron, and John R. Mason. The news was announced April 8. The gift includes 17 works by Nellie Mae Rowe. “Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe,” a major solo exhibition of the artist opens Sept. 3 at the High and will draw on the museums extensive holdings (200+ works by Rowe), including the new acquisitions. Rowe was the first artist the Abneys collected, purchasing a drawing from Alexander Gallery in 1980, and the last work was a collage by Lockett from Christie’s auction house in 2019.

Diversity & Representation

Cranbrook Academy of Art Announces $30 Million Gift Targeting Student Diversity
A historic $30 million gift from Jennifer and Dan Gilbert will prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. The largest gift in the school’s history will fund 20 full-tuition fellowships for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, establish a permanent endowment to fund the fellowships in perpetuity, and fund visiting faculty artists of color for five years. Announced April 6, the gift also focuses on Cranbrook’s long-term fiscal sustainability. Jennifer Gilbert chairs the Board of Governors of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. Cranbrook alumni include artists McArthur Binion, Nick Cave, and Sonya Clark.


Saint Louis Art Museum Hosting National Summit on Museum Diversity: May 6
The Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) is hosting a national summit for art professionals focused on increasing staff diversity at museums and cultural institutions. Speakers include Studio Museum in Harlem Director Thelma Golden, American Alliance of Museums President and CEO Laura Lott, and SLAM Director Brent R. Benjamin. Titled “Advancing Change: The Future of Museum Leadership,” the virtual event will highlight SLAM’s Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship. Established nearly three decades ago, the program is viewed as a national model.


Recognizing African American Historic Sites in Los Angeles
The Getty Conservation Institute and the City of Los Angeles (the Department of City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources) announced the Los Angeles African American Historic Places Project, an ambitious three-year effort to identify, protect and celebrate African American cultural sites, which are under-recognized in the city. Only about three percent of local landmarks are connected to African American heritage.


93rd Annual Oscar Awards campaign art by Michelle Robinson. | Courtesy Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

More News

7 Artists Invited to Reimagine Oscar Statuette
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited seven artists to reinvent the Oscar statuette for the 2021 Academy Awards campaign art used for posters and social media promotion. The group includes Seoul, Korea-born, Los Angeles-based Michelle Robinson and Lagos, Nigeria-born multidisciplinary artist Temi Cooke, who lives and works in Dallas, Texas. The Oscar Awards ceremony will be televised live on April 25. | Los Angeles Times


Howard University Porter Colloquium Co-Sponsored by National Gallery of Art: April 16
In celebration of the centennial of the Howard University Department of Art, the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts is cosponsoring Howard’s 31st Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora. Live streamed on April 16, presentations by Erica Moiah James, Kobena Mercer, Renée Stout, and Freida High Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis, will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Lisa Farrington, associate dean of Howard’s Division of Fine Arts. Presented in conjunction with the colloquium on April 15, the David C. Driskell Center’s Distinguished Annual Lecture in the Visual Arts in Honor of David C. Driskell, will be presented by Curlee Holton, the center’s director, via Zoom.


Darren Walker on 60 Minutes: The Ford Foundation is a major supporter of the arts, underwriting exhibitions, funding curatorial and museum board diversity initiatives, and collaborating with Agnes Gund to support Art for Justice projects. On 60 Minutes, Darren Walker, the foundation’s president, talks about his modest upbringing and his ambitious agenda focused on fighting inequality, which he calls as “our greatest harm to democracy.” The episode aired April 4, 2021. (Commercials play at beginning and after the intro. A brief Overtime segment features Walker’s memories of growing up in Ames, Texas.) | Video by CBS News


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