Welcome to Culture Type!

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.

Culture Talks
Culture Talk: Courtney Willis Blair on Ryan Lee Gallery's Representation of Emma Amos

Culture Talk: Courtney Willis Blair on Ryan Lee Gallery’s Representation of Emma Amos

  AT THE REAR OF RYAN LEE GALLERY in New York, a 1966 painting by Emma Amos casually sits on the floor leaning against the wall between works by other gallery artists. Blending figuration and Abstract Expressionism, the canvas references Color Field painting and conjures Bob Thompson. The work bears little resemblance to the collage...
Culture Talk: Franklin Sirmans on Leading the Pérez Art Museum in Miami

Culture Talk: Franklin Sirmans on Leading the Pérez Art Museum in Miami

  SIX WEEKS INTO HIS TENURE as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Franklin Sirmans is adapting to his new role at the museum and new expectations for Art Basel Miami Beach. Previously, as department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), he could duck...
Culture Talk: Lauren Haynes on 'Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art'

Culture Talk: Lauren Haynes on ‘Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art’

A NEW EXHIBITION AT THE STUDIO MUSEUM in Harlem was inspired by the pluck of a young Chicago entrepreneur. When positive images of black people were absent from America’s most popular household magazines, John H. Johnson started his own. Fixtures on the coffee tables of countless black families across the country, Ebony and Jet served...
Culture Talk: Amalia Amaki on Collector Richard A. Long

Culture Talk: Amalia Amaki on Collector Richard A. Long

  BEFORE SETTLING IN ATLANTA in 1968, Richard A. Long (1927-2013) visited Alain Locke’s home and viewed his art collection, sat for portraits in Paris with Beauford Delaney and directed the College Museum at Hampton Institute. In Atlanta, where he essentially became dean of the black arts community, Long founded the African American Studies program...
Culture Talk: Bruce Talamon on Photographing David Hammons

Culture Talk: Bruce Talamon on Photographing David Hammons

FOUR DECADES AGO, WHILE DAVID HAMMONS was working in his Los Angeles studio making body prints and assemblages, and developing ideas for installations and performances, Bruce W. Talamon was nearby photographing every moment. He says the two met in 1974, shortly before the artist moved to New York. Hammons had already gained some recognition. In...
Culture Talk: Duke Professor Richard J. Powell on Archibald Motley

Culture Talk: Duke Professor Richard J. Powell on Archibald Motley

  THE NASHER MUSEUM OF ART at Duke University is infused with Chicago jazz and Paris blues. Since January 19, the museum has been exhibiting 45 paintings by Chicago artist Archibald J. Motley Jr. (1891-1981). “Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist” presents a rare opportunity to experience the work of one of the 20th century’s most...
Culture Talk: Swann's Nigel Freeman on Early African American Art

Culture Talk: Swann’s Nigel Freeman on Early African American Art

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN ART MARKET experienced a sea change seven years ago when Swann Auction Galleries began dedicating sales to African American fine art. Few auction records existed for African American artists at the time. Most sales were handled privately by galleries and dealers, making values hard to discern because prices were not disclosed to...
Culture Talk: Lorna Simpson on Capturing the Cast of '12 Years a Slave' for W Magazine

Culture Talk: Lorna Simpson on Capturing the Cast of ’12 Years a Slave’ for W Magazine

RACE, IDENTITY, MEMORY AND HISTORY figure prominently in Lorna Simpson‘s practice, making her a natural choice for W magazine which reached out to the photographer to capture the cast of the Oscar-nominated “12 Years a Slave.” Even before it debuted in theaters, major buzz surrounded British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen’s film. Critics and historians...