The works of more than 50 African-American artists from the late 1800s to the present comprise this exhibition. The Kelley collection is one of the most esteemed private collections of African-American art, and the special exhibition features more than 90 works on paper by more than 50 African-American artists from the late 1800s to the present. Artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, William H. Johnson, Alison Saar and Charles White are among those whose works are on view.
Two significant eras are the focus of the exhibition: the 1930s and 1940s, a period which saw the birth of African-American regionalism, and the 1960s and 1970s, which saw the rise of politically motivated and African-inspired themes; subjects range from racism and its related hardships to family, music and religion.
The Kelleys have been collecting art since the mid-1980s, when they saw the exhibition Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800–1950 at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Realizing they did not recognize any of the artists’ names, they vowed to educate themselves about this aspect of their heritage and built a collection to advance the legacy of African-American art.
In addition and concurrent to this exhibition, the one-gallery exhibition African-American Art: Selections from the Amon Carter Museum’s Collection is also on view. This exhibition showcases some of the museum’s landmark prints and drawings from the same era as those in the Kelley show. Artists featured include Charles Alston, Grafton Tyler Brown, Elizabeth Catlett, Will iam H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Will iam E. Smith, Dox Thrash, Charles White and John Wilson.
Amon Carter Museum Website