Published: May 9, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has received a $575,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support a three-year African American collecting initiative. While the archives has collected the papers and oral histories of important figures in African American art from its founding in 1954, the grant will advance the process of building and strengthening the collection.
The Henry Luce Foundation is a longtime supporter of the archives’ mission to foster research by collecting, preserving and making available a diversity of primary source material documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, with a second research facility in New York City, the archives holds nearly 6,000 collections of archival material on the artists, collectors, dealers and scholars who have shaped the history of art in America. Approximately 1,000 items in the collections hold significant content for the study and appreciation of African American art and artists, ranging from Horace Pippin’s World War I memoir to the papers of Adrian Piper. Recent acquisitions include materials on Beauford Delaney from the Galerie Darthea Speyer in Paris and documentation of 400 Outsider artists represented in the papers of Jimmy Hedges and the records of his Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Rising Fawn Folk Gallery.
The grant also enables the archives to create a new three-year-term position for a full-time African American art collector, who will consult with advisors and travel around the United States to acquire collections. It also supports paid summer internships recruited from groups underrepresented in the field of art history to assist in the process and help digitize new acquisitions.
For information, 202-633-7950 or www.aaa.si.edu.
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