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A blog focused on visual art from a Black perspective, Culture Type explores the intersection of art, history, and culture

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America Paid Homage to Civil Rights Icon John Lewis This Week in Multi-City Homegoing Worthy of a Statesman

America Paid Homage to Civil Rights Icon John Lewis This Week in Multi-City Homegoing Worthy of a Statesman

July 26. 2020: Casket of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) crosses the Edmund Pettus Bridge by horse drawn caisson in Selma, Ala. | Photo by AP Photo/John Bazemore, © 2020 The Associated Press   AMERICA PAID HOMAGE to the Honorable John Lewis (1940-2020) this week in the cities where his biography unfolded in ceremonies worthy of...
Congressman John Lewis, the Civil Rights Icon and Lifelong Freedom Fighter, Was a Museum Advocate Who Recognized the Importance of Art and Artists

Congressman John Lewis, the Civil Rights Icon and Lifelong Freedom Fighter, Was a Museum Advocate Who Recognized the Importance of Art and Artists

Portrait of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. | Photo by Anthony Geathers, Used with permission   AN ENDURING IMAGE of the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis (1940-2020) took a knee. It was the summer of 1962 and he was leading a vigil outside a “whites only” swimming pool...
Ronald Ollie, 69, a Major Collector of African American Abstract Art Who Gifted 81 Works to Saint Louis Art Museum, Has Died

Ronald Ollie, 69, a Major Collector of African American Abstract Art Who Gifted 81 Works to Saint Louis Art Museum, Has Died

Collector Ronald Ollie (1951-2020)   AN AVID COLLECTOR of African American art and generous museum patron, Ronald Ollie (1951-2020) has died. He passed away at his home in Newark, N.J., on June 1. He was 69. His wife Monique McRipley Ollie confirmed his death to Culture Type. She told me via email, “I think his...
Emma Amos, 83, a Dynamic Painter, Masterful Colorist, and Member of Spiral Collective, Has Died

Emma Amos, 83, a Dynamic Painter, Masterful Colorist, and Member of Spiral Collective, Has Died

A PIONEERING ARTIST who made captivating, poignant, and culturally insightful works, Emma Amos (1937-2020) has died. She was 83. Amos passed away on May 20 in Bedford, N.H., of natural causes after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, where Amos has been represented since 2016, shared news of her...
In Memoriam, Artists, Curators, and Scholars Share Memories of David C. Driskell: He 'Was an Agitator for African American Art' and 'Lit the Way in Our Lives and Careers'

In Memoriam, Artists, Curators, and Scholars Share Memories of David C. Driskell: He ‘Was an Agitator for African American Art’ and ‘Lit the Way in Our Lives and Careers’

  DAVID C. DRISKELL (1931-2020) helped build the field of African American art history and was a nexus for three generations of artists, curators, and scholars who have studied and are fortifying the discipline. A pivotal figure in American art and leading authority on African American art, Driskell died on April 1. He was 88....
In Response to Toni Morrison's Death, Artists Are Expressing How Her Powerful Black Authorship Moved Them

In Response to Toni Morrison’s Death, Artists Are Expressing How Her Powerful Black Authorship Moved Them

  SHE GOT A LOT DONE. On Monday, Toni Morrison (1931-2019) died at the age of 88. The announcement of her death prompted an outpouring of laudatory tributes to the author who wrote with authority and aplomb about the lives of black people, with black women at the center of her narratives. Artists were among...
Leah Chase, Pioneering Creole Chef and Passionate Art Collector, Has Died at 96

Leah Chase, Pioneering Creole Chef and Passionate Art Collector, Has Died at 96

Chef Leah Chase (1923-2019)   THE COLLECTION of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., includes portraits of America’s most iconic figures—legends of culture, politics, and history. When the most prominent among these national treasures dies, the Smithsonian museum recognizes their life and legacy by displaying their portrait in a designated In Memoriam space on...
In the Wake of His Passing, Fellow Curators Pay Tribute to Okwui Enwezor with Outpouring of Remembrances and Respect

In the Wake of His Passing, Fellow Curators Pay Tribute to Okwui Enwezor with Outpouring of Remembrances and Respect

Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019)   THE RANKS OF BLACK CURATORS in the art world, while expanding, are relatively thin. Nearly every one has a connection to Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019), whether they were close with him or worked with him, or only of knew him and his work. Enwezor, the renowned curator and critic, died March 15....
Okwui Enwezor Has Died at Age 55, the Visionary Curator Broadened the Geographic Scope of the Contemporary Art World

Okwui Enwezor Has Died at Age 55, the Visionary Curator Broadened the Geographic Scope of the Contemporary Art World

Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019). | Photo: Venice Biennale   A LEADING LIGHT in the art world has dimmed. Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019), the internationally renowned curator and critic who served as artistic director of the 56th Venice Biennale, died March 15 in Munich after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 55. Enwezor served as artistic director...
Phenomenal Woman: Remembering Aretha Franklin, the Indisputable Queen of Soul

Phenomenal Woman: Remembering Aretha Franklin, the Indisputable Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin (1969) recording at Atlantic Records in New York.   SHE WAS A NATIONAL TREASURE. A beacon for the world. The Queen of Soul. Aretha Louise Franklin (1942-2018), whose powerful voice provided a soundtrack for change in America, died yesterday at her home in Detroit. She was 76. The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer....
Remembering Peggy Cooper Cafritz, the Passionate Art Collector and Education Advocate Died at 70

Remembering Peggy Cooper Cafritz, the Passionate Art Collector and Education Advocate Died at 70

Arts and Education Advocate Peggy Cooper Caftritz (1947-2018)   FOR THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT equity and access in arts and education, a major ally and important advocate has been lost. Peggy Cooper Cafrtiz (1947-2018), the Washington, D.C., arts patron who co-founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, died Feb. 18 at a local hospital....
Jack Whitten, the Pioneering and Inventive Abstract Painter, Dies at 78

Jack Whitten, the Pioneering and Inventive Abstract Painter, Dies at 78

  IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT EXPERIMENTATION. For more than half a century, Jack Whitten (1939-2018) pursued the possibilities of paint, material, and technique. While constantly evolving his conceptual practice, he remained proudly political, committed to exploring weighty issues, and intent on lifting up the legacies of fellow African American artists and cultural figures by paying...
Chicago Artist Barbara Jones-Hogu, a Founding Member of AfriCOBRA, Has Died

Chicago Artist Barbara Jones-Hogu, a Founding Member of AfriCOBRA, Has Died

BARBARA JONES-HOGU, “Unite (First State),” 1969 (screenprint). | © Barbara Jones-Hogu, Courtesy Lusenhop Fine Art   THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT has lost a central figure. Barbara Jones-Hogu (1938-2017), a founding member of the artist collective AfriCOBRA, died Nov. 14. The Chicago artist, educator, and filmmaker, was 79. Recognized for her political, pro-Black images combining figuration...
Nasher Museum Hosting Barkley Hendricks Memorial Celebration, Presenting Special Tribute Exhibition of Artist's Work

Nasher Museum Hosting Barkley Hendricks Memorial Celebration, Presenting Special Tribute Exhibition of Artist’s Work

Barkley Hendricks (1945-2017). | Photo by Duke University, Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery   THE NASHER MUSEUM OF ART at Duke University is celebrating the life and work of Barley L. Hendricks (1945-2017) today. The extended museum and campus community, along with the family, friends, and fans of Hendricks are gathering at the museum to pay...
A 'Passionate Experimentalist,' Painter Phillip J. Hampton Began His Career as a Trailblazer

A ‘Passionate Experimentalist,’ Painter Phillip J. Hampton Began His Career as a Trailblazer

Lot 38: PHILLIP HAMPTON, “Untitled,” (mixed-media, watercolor and enamel on illustration board). | Estimate $2,000-$3,000. Sold for $2,000 including fees   A SHORT MENTION in the May 22, 1952, edition of Jet magazine documents a historic first. The headline reads: “Missouri Art School Graduates First Negro MA.” The pathbreaker was Phillip J. Hampton (1922-2016), an...
AIA Recognizes Legacy of African American Architect Paul R. Williams with Gold Medal Awarded Nearly 40 Years After His Death

AIA Recognizes Legacy of African American Architect Paul R. Williams with Gold Medal Awarded Nearly 40 Years After His Death

Residence in Hollywood, Calif., designed in 1928 by Paul Williams for banking executive Victor Rosetti.   STATELY AND GRACEFUL are the descriptors frequently invoked in real state listings for homes designed by architect Paul Revere Williams (1894-1980). The Williams name adds quantifiable prestige to prime properties on the most desirable streets in Beverly Hills, Hollywood...