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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.

Books & Catalogs
Wil Haygood Accepts Award for 'I Too Sing America' Exhibition Catalog and Cites Longstanding Connections to Harlem

Wil Haygood Accepts Award for ‘I Too Sing America’ Exhibition Catalog and Cites Longstanding Connections to Harlem

Wil Haygood at the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park on April 4, 2019   COLLEGE PARK, MD. — After writing biographies of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Sammie Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall, and a feature article published in The Washington Post that inspired the film “The...
Black Art History: Jacob Lawrence's Narrative Series About Black Perseverance and American Rebellion Inspired a Cache of Children's Books

Black Art History: Jacob Lawrence’s Narrative Series About Black Perseverance and American Rebellion Inspired a Cache of Children’s Books

“The Last Journey,” No. 17 from the series Harriet Tubman and the Promised Land (1967) by Jacob Lawrence   OVER THE COURSE OF HIS CAREER, Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) documented the African American experience and life in Harlem. He also tackled key moments in American history through multi-panel series. A sweeping look at the history of...
Culture Type Picks: 18 Best Black Art Books of 2018

Culture Type Picks: 18 Best Black Art Books of 2018

The best illustrated black art books of 2018. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine   THE INCREASED INTEREST among some museums in mounting exhibitions featuring the work of African American artists has translated into a growing number of catalogs published to document them, which is wonderful. Many of those catalogs made Culture Type’s 2018 list...
Jeffrey C. Stewart Wins National Book Award for Biography of Alain Locke

Jeffrey C. Stewart Wins National Book Award for Biography of Alain Locke

Jeffery C. Stewart accepts National Book Award on Nov. 14   THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION went to Jeffrey C. Stewart for “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke.” Stewart’s definitive biography explores the public influence and private persona of Alain Locke (1885-1954), the gay intellectual and champion of visual artists who...
'Royal Flush': Artist Nina Chanel Abney Debuts in Los Angeles at Two Museums

‘Royal Flush’: Artist Nina Chanel Abney Debuts in Los Angeles at Two Museums

  IN A 2008 PAINTING, Nina Chanel Abney brought together the seemingly disparate images of her friend Randal, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a pack of dogs, and Michael Vick, the NFL player who was serving 21 months in prison for participating in dog fighting, when the work was made. Titled “Randaleeza,” the...
David Zwirner Announced its Worldwide Representation of the Roy DeCarava Estate

David Zwirner Announced its Worldwide Representation of the Roy DeCarava Estate

  THE ESTATE OF AMERICAN ARTIST Roy DeCarava (1919–2009) is now represented worldwide by David Zwirner gallery. DeCarava trained as a painter and draftsman, before dedicating his career to photography in the mid-1940s. Through his lens, images of modern life in New York City were defined by light and shadow. The photographer’s best-known project is...
In Paris, Black Doll Exhibition Explores Women's Craft, History of Childhood Play, and Dynamics of America's Racial Structure

In Paris, Black Doll Exhibition Explores Women’s Craft, History of Childhood Play, and Dynamics of America’s Racial Structure

  EUROPEAN MUSEUMS ARE EXPOSING THEIR AUDIENCES to works by African Americans artists that reflect and respond to the history of race in United States. Two major exhibitions, “The Color Line: African American Artists and Segregation” at Le musée du quai Branly in Paris (2016), and “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of...
Art & Agency: New Book by Peggy Cooper Cafritz Explores Her Collections and Undying Support for Artists

Art & Agency: New Book by Peggy Cooper Cafritz Explores Her Collections and Undying Support for Artists

A NUMBER OF ART PATRONS boast impressive collections of African American art. Peggy Cooper Cafritz is probably the loan collector in the category who has assembled two. Over the course of 20-plus years, Cafritz acquired more than 300 works by artists such as Barkley L. Hendricks, Norman Lewis, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Yinka Shonibare,...
Re-Birth of the Cool: A Second Printing of the Catalog for the Seminal Barkley Hendricks Exhibition Has Been Published

Re-Birth of the Cool: A Second Printing of the Catalog for the Seminal Barkley Hendricks Exhibition Has Been Published

  A DECADE AGO TODAY, “Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool” opened at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (Feb. 7-July 13, 2008). The traveling survey brought renewed attention to Barkley L. Hendricks (1945-2017), the artist and photographer whose powerful portraits dating from the 1960s and 70s masterfully capture the individuality, attitude...
Culture Type Picks: The 14 Best Black Art Books of 2017

Culture Type Picks: The 14 Best Black Art Books of 2017

  SOME OF THE BEST ART BOOKS published this year focus on the past and the present. Exhibition catalogs such as “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-85” and “Soul of a “Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” and the scholarly publication “South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in...
The Artist Project: New Volume Explores What Artists See, What Inspires Them, When They Look at Art at The Met Museum

The Artist Project: New Volume Explores What Artists See, What Inspires Them, When They Look at Art at The Met Museum

HOWARDENA PINDELL, Detail of “Oval Memory Series II: Castle Dragon,” 1980-81.   LAST YEAR, ANDREA BOWERS was in conversation with Martha Rosler at the Dia Art Foundation. The two artists discussed “If You Lived Here…,” a project about homelessness and real estate in New York City Rosler presented at the Dia in 1989. Invited to...
Holiday Gift Guide 2017: 14 New Books for the Photography Lovers on Your List

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: 14 New Books for the Photography Lovers on Your List

EXCEPTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS tell amazing stories. Through images by and about people of African descent, a number of recently published volumes further reveal the personalities, places, cultures and issues that have captured our imaginations and surface others largely overlooked. Must haves for the photography enthusiasts on your gift list, these titles span fine art, documentary, and...
Culture Talk: Kellie Jones Discusses 'South of Pico,' Her Recently Published Book About African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and '70s

Culture Talk: Kellie Jones Discusses ‘South of Pico,’ Her Recently Published Book About African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s

Kellie Jones, author of “South of Pico.”   A DECADE AGO, Kellie Jones set out to write a book about African American artists in Los Angeles. The focus of her research was the 1960s and ’70s, a period when artists in the city were experimenting with materials and form, and mixing art with activism. Shortly...
Monumental Practice: Long Before the Violence in Charlottesville, Mabel O. Wilson Was Exploring the Intersection of Race and History in Public Spaces

Monumental Practice: Long Before the Violence in Charlottesville, Mabel O. Wilson Was Exploring the Intersection of Race and History in Public Spaces

Robert E. Lee Monument in Emancipation Park, Charlottesville, Va. | via UVA   THE CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE’S plans to remove a monument memorializing Confederate General Robert E. Lee drew protests from tiki torch-bearing white supremacists and white nationalists. On Aug. 12, counter-demonstrators clashed with participants in the “Unite the Right” rally and one woman, among...