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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.

Posts tagged "National Portrait Gallery"
Overlooked: The Smithsonian Acquired a Portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the Latest Effort to Recognize Her Legacy in Medical Science

Overlooked: The Smithsonian Acquired a Portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the Latest Effort to Recognize Her Legacy in Medical Science

  CERVICAL CANCER CLAIMED THE LIFE of Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951), an African American woman who died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at the young age of 31. She never gave her consent, but in the waning months before her death her cells were harvested and have revolutionized medical science. For more than half a...
'Folklorist of the Brush and Palette': Rare Winold Reiss Exhibition Features Distinct, Illuminating Portraits of Harlem Figures

‘Folklorist of the Brush and Palette’: Rare Winold Reiss Exhibition Features Distinct, Illuminating Portraits of Harlem Figures

WINOLD REISS, “Harlem Girl with Blanket,” circa 1925   FORTY WORKS BY A HARLEM LEGEND are on view in midtown Manhattan. “Winold Reiss Will Not Be Classified” at Hirschl & Adler gallery presents works spanning the German American artist’s four decade career. Weinold Reiss (1886–1953) was variously considered an artist, designer, illustrator, architect, printmaker, and...
National Portrait Gallery: Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Explore 'UnSeen' Narratives in Historic Portraiture

National Portrait Gallery: Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Explore ‘UnSeen’ Narratives in Historic Portraiture

  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hanging half loose from its stretcher, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson reveals an image of a black woman behind it. It’s a provocative juxtaposition that raises a question about the relationship between the two subjects. Her hair is covered while her partially shown shoulder and leg are bare. She is brown-skinned...
Michelle Obama's Viral Video with Young Admirer Opens Window Into Her Collection of African American Art

Michelle Obama’s Viral Video with Young Admirer Opens Window Into Her Collection of African American Art

Parker, I'm so glad I had the chance to meet you today (and for the dance party)! Keep on dreaming big for yourself…and maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you! A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Mar 6, 2018 at 9:19am PST Michelle Obama visits with her new...
Painting Power, Capturing Character: Smithsonian Unveils Official Obama Portraits

Painting Power, Capturing Character: Smithsonian Unveils Official Obama Portraits

  WASHINGTON, DC—There are many ways to define and depict power. When President Obama’s portrait was unveiled Monday, it was a reminder that leadership, command, and influence, can be inspiring and reassuring, powerful and black. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of the former president artfully captures the man and the symbol. The image of the first African...
Presidential Appointments: Obamas Select Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald to Paint Their Official Portraits for Smithsonian

Presidential Appointments: Obamas Select Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald to Paint Their Official Portraits for Smithsonian

  TWO AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS are painting official portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The artists were selected by the Obamas. New York-based Kehinde Wiley is painting the president and Baltimore artist Amy Sherald will depict the first lady. The Portrait Gallery commissioned...
Portrait of an Artist: Baltimore-based Amy Sherald Wins Smithsonian's Outwin Boochever Competition

Portrait of an Artist: Baltimore-based Amy Sherald Wins Smithsonian’s Outwin Boochever Competition

  EXPLORING RACE, REPRESENTATION AND PERFORMANCE, there is a certain something about the portraits painted by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald. Painted in grayscale, the bodies of her subjects are absent of color. Everything else in the large-scale fantastical portraits of African Americans—their distinctive clothing and the background against which they are set—celebrates color. The Smithsonian...
Mickalene Thomas Envisions First Lady Michelle Obama

Mickalene Thomas Envisions First Lady Michelle Obama

TODAY IS FIRST LADY OBAMA’s 51st birthday. From the moment she entered the national spotlight, Obama has been a history maker and a cultural icon. Mickalene Thomas was inspired by the latter image when she made what is considered the first solo portrait of Obama, a print donated to the Obama campaign shortly before the...