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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.

Author Archive
50 Years Ago, Alma Thomas Made 'Space' Paintings that Imagined the Moon and Mars

50 Years Ago, Alma Thomas Made ‘Space’ Paintings that Imagined the Moon and Mars

  WHEN APOLLO 11 LANDED on the moon, Alma Thomas was inspired by the historic milestone. The mission was launched 50 years ago today and Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins landed on the moon four days later, July 20, 1969. The American astronauts were the first people to visit...
Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell Joined Board of Getty Trust in Los Angeles

Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell Joined Board of Getty Trust in Los Angeles

THE J. PAUL GETTY TRUST has a new board member. Mary Schmidt Campbell joined the board of trustees of the Los Angeles-based philanthropic institution. Campbell is the president of Spelman College in Atlanta and author of “An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden.” The Getty made the announcement July 10. The Trust...
Priceless History: Johnson Publishing Photography and Media Archive Up for Auction This Week

Priceless History: Johnson Publishing Photography and Media Archive Up for Auction This Week

  BEGINNING IN THE MID-20TH CENTURY, Johnson Publishing dominated the media landscape disseminating images of African Americans that defined black identity during an unprecedented period of progress and change. The photography published in Ebony and Jet magazines established a visual language and black aesthetic that came to represent the African American experience. It’s hard to...
Curated by Painter Nina Chanel Abney, 'Punch' at Jeffrey Deitch in Los Angeles Gathers More Than 30 of Her Artist Friends

Curated by Painter Nina Chanel Abney, ‘Punch’ at Jeffrey Deitch in Los Angeles Gathers More Than 30 of Her Artist Friends

  AN AMAZING PAINTER who juggles a variety of projects and collaborations, Nina Chanel Abney has been channeling her talents as a curator. Last fall, Abney organized “Punch” at Jeffrey Deitch in New York. The show focused on 19 artists in her circle whose work, similar to her own, examines contemporary life through the lens...
On View: Njideka Akunyili Crosby's 'The Beautyful Ones' at Victoria Miro Venice

On View: Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s ‘The Beautyful Ones’ at Victoria Miro Venice

    SINCE 2014, Njideka Akunyili Crosby has been using her signature collage technique to make a series of portraits focused on Nigerian children, including her siblings in their youth. Recent works from the ongoing series The Beautyful Ones are featured at Victoria Miro Venice. Closing soon, the exhibition is on view through July 13....
Studio Museum in Harlem Names 2019-2020 Artists-in-Residence: E. Jane, Naudline Pierre, and Elliot Reed

Studio Museum in Harlem Names 2019-2020 Artists-in-Residence: E. Jane, Naudline Pierre, and Elliot Reed

“Lead Me Gently Home” (2019) by Naudline Pierre     THE STUDIO MUSEUM in Harlem is welcoming a new class of artists-in-residence this fall. The 2019-2020 participants are E. Jane, Naudline Pierre, and Elliot Reed. The museum announced the new group today. Thelma Golden, director and chief Curator of the Studio Museum, said she was...
Philip Freelon, 66, Architect of Record for Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Has Died

Philip Freelon, 66, Architect of Record for Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Has Died

Architect Philip Freelon (1953-2019)   ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL African American architects of his generation, Philip Freelon (1953-2019) designed artful museums, cultural centers, and civic buildings across the nation. The architect-of-record for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Freelon died July 9 at his home in Durham, N.C. He...
Latest News in African American Art: Duro Olowu x Estée Lauder, Smithsonian Keeping Sackler Name, Maya Angelou Murals, Where Are the Critics of Color? & More

Latest News in African American Art: Duro Olowu x Estée Lauder, Smithsonian Keeping Sackler Name, Maya Angelou Murals, Where Are the Critics of Color? & More

  The following review presents a snapshot of the recent news in African American art and related black culture:   Duro Olowu is Collaborating with Estée Lauder on a New Makeup Collection Known for his kaleidoscopic prints, British fashion designer Duro Olowu worked with Estée Lauder on a new makeup collection. “I love mixing unusual...
Hail the Dark Lioness: Zanele Muholi's Exhibition of Striking Self-Portraits Opens at the Seattle Art Museum Tomorrow

Hail the Dark Lioness: Zanele Muholi’s Exhibition of Striking Self-Portraits Opens at the Seattle Art Museum Tomorrow

  THE SEATTLE ART MUSEUM is presenting an ongoing series of self-portraits by South African photographer Zanele Muholi. Opening July 10, “Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness” features 76 black-and-white portraits and large-scale photographic wall papers. The series reimagines so-called classic portraiture and re-articulates notions of race, representation, and identity. Muholi’s own face and body...
Museums Are Swapping Paintings by White Male Artists for Works by Black Artists, Filling Historic Gaps in Their Collections

Museums Are Swapping Paintings by White Male Artists for Works by Black Artists, Filling Historic Gaps in Their Collections

  FOR GENERATIONS, African American artists have not received anywhere near the institutional and market recognition experienced by their white peers. In terms of acquisitions, many museums are attempting long-delayed corrections. Few museums have consistently collected works by black artists, leaving historic gaps in their collections. To address these shortfalls and diversify their holdings, three...
Flag Flying: Artists Are Using the Symbolic Medium to Raise Political and Social Issues

Flag Flying: Artists Are Using the Symbolic Medium to Raise Political and Social Issues

  WHAT TO THE AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST is the Fourth of July? Is it consumed by fireworks and barbecue or grounded, perhaps, in the words of Frederick Douglass? On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a historic address in Rochester, N.Y., at an event commemorating the Declaration of Independence. He said in part: What, to the...
Ta-Nehisi Coates is Launching His First Novel 'The Water Dancer' at Apollo Theater, a Spelman Alum Illustrated the Cover

Ta-Nehisi Coates is Launching His First Novel ‘The Water Dancer’ at Apollo Theater, a Spelman Alum Illustrated the Cover

  THE NATIONAL BOOK TOUR for “The Water Dancer,” the first novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates, will kick off at the Apollo Theater on September 23. Coates, who testified before Congress two weeks ago about reparations for African Americans, will serve as the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Harlem theater. “Coates is an artist changing the landscape...
Paintings By Black Female Artists Soar at London Contemporary Auctions, Records Set by Kara Walker, Tschabalala Self, Nina Chanel Abney, and Toyin Ojih Odutola

Paintings By Black Female Artists Soar at London Contemporary Auctions, Records Set by Kara Walker, Tschabalala Self, Nina Chanel Abney, and Toyin Ojih Odutola

  IN VIVID BLACK AND BLUE, “Four Idioms on Negro Art #4 Primitivism” (2015) by Kara Walker depicts a violent confrontation among four silhouetted figures. A police officer in combat gear hovers over the scene. A phallus hanging between his wide spread legs, he is kicking a male figure that is sucking the breast of...
Natasha L. Logan Appointed Deputy Director at Creative Time, the Public Arts Nonprofit in New York City

Natasha L. Logan Appointed Deputy Director at Creative Time, the Public Arts Nonprofit in New York City

CREATIVE TIME, the public arts nonprofit that commissioned Kara Walker’s monumental sugar sphinx in Brooklyn and presented Nick Cave’s herd of dancing horses in Grand Central Station, named a new deputy director. Natasha L. Logan has been promoted to the role. She joined Creative Time in 2016, serving as project manager and director of programming,...