In Greenville, SC there is a hidden gem of a museum with great exhibitions and a stunning permanent collection. My visit was full of excitement as I saw some of my favorite artists on view: John Ahearn, Sam Gilliam, Beauford Delaney, Jacob Lawrence and William H, Johnson. Must-visit place! Greenville County Museum of Art
David Drake: Greenville County Museum of Art
David Drake was an enslaved potter in the 19th century whose incredible craftsmanship and literacy while enslaved rose him to fame upon discovery of his pots in the twenty-first century. Born in the Americas, Dave worked as a turner in pottery manufacturing facilities in South Carolina’s Edgefield District. Although dangerous for slaves to learn to read and write, Dave was literate and expressed his literacy inside his pots. His most famous inscription notes, “I wonder where is all my relation/friendship to all-and, every nation”. Dave’s pots can be found in the collections of many institutions.
On my trip to Greenville, SC I had the honor of viewing his pots at the Greenville County Museum of Art. Below find my shots of the installation that is a part of their permanent collection.
Volta NY 2015
This past week was a huge and insanely busy weekend in the art world. One of my favorite stops was at Volta NY 2015 and wanted to share some of what I saw in the booths:
Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College
From July 20 through October 13, 2013 Hale Woodruff’s mural commission for Talladega College will be at NYU’s 80 Washington Square East gallery. Restored after a 2011 request of President Billy C. Hawkins and the Talladega College Board of Trustees, the High Museum in Atlanta’s art conservators and handlers began the conservation process in 2011 to preserve the murals for the future . The restoration process took 12 months and has begun a three-year tour under the title Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College. Do not miss this last week of the show at NYU! It is a must-see.
Hale Woodruff was commissioned in 1938 by Talladega College President Buell Gallagher to paint six murals that would be in display in the new Savery Library which was under construction at the time. The murals were to commemorate the transition from slavery to freedom. In 1939 the first three murals were installed about the 1839 slave uprising on the ship Amistad, which was concurrently the hundredth anniversary of the historical event with scenes of the mutiny, the trial, and the return of the captives to Africa. National leaders, mostly cultural leaders in the African-American community loved the murals for the representation of pride and hope.
Hale Woodruff is an important artist in the history of art with a multitude of accomplishments as an artist and professor. In 1931 Woodruff joined the faculty of Atlanta University (later Clark Atlanta University) as its first art instructor and the historic collection of African-American art at Clark Atlanta University is contributed to Woodruff’s effort. Woodruff was an apprentice to Diego Rivera in the late 1930s and studied in France during the Cubist movement. Romare Bearden and Woodruff established the artists’ collective Spiral in 1963 about the connections between African-American art and the ongoing struggle for civil rights which helped lay the groundwork for the Black Arts Movement.
Watch this video from the High Museum in Atlanta to learn more about the murals:
Click here for more information on the final week of the exhibition at the 80 Washington Square East Gallery:
Click here for more information on where the murals will be traveling to next: