Darryl Atwell, a collector based in Washington, DC, has been acquiring works by artists of the African diaspora for the last eight years. His conversation with Jeffreen M. Hayes, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in African American Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, recorded on November 18, 2012, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, provides an overview of Atwell’s important collection. They also discussed the collecting of African American art in general and the rise of contemporary African American artists. Hayes is a scholar whose research interests are African American visual culture, contemporary representations of race, and art museums.
The Collecting of African American Art
The Collecting of African American Art series focuses on distinguished private collections of African American art in the United States.
Maria Kanellopoulos, collection-manager and exhibition coordinator, Wedge Curatorial Projects; Kenneth Montague, collector, curator, and director, Wedge Curatorial Projects; and Trevor Schoonmaker, chief curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Kenneth Montague is a Toronto-based art collector and the founder and director of Wedge Curatorial Projects. Created in 1997, Wedge evolved from a commercial gallery into a nonprofit organization, exhibiting photo-based work with a strong focus on exploring black identity and the African diaspora. Wedge has collaborated with local and international institutions to create original exhibitions, educational programming, publications, and film and music series that speak to youth about shaping their own identity. In 2011 Montague organized Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection in collaboration with Trevor Schoonmaker at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. In this conversation recorded on March 9, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art as part of the Collecting of African American Art series, Montague and Schoonmaker discuss the history and mission of their individual institutions and collaborations between them. Moderated by Maria Kanellopoulos, Wedge collection-manager and exhibition coordinator, the conversation also considers the future of acquisitions, exhibitions, and scholarship of work of the African diaspora.
Ruth Fine, curator (1972–2012), National Gallery of Art, and Rodney M. Miller, collector. In this conversation recorded on February 9, 2014, as part of The Collecting of African American Art, a series at the National Gallery of Art, Ruth Fine and Rodney M. Miller discuss his collection in all of its aspects—from his early interest in art to the development of his diverse interactions with contemporary artists, curators, and dealers. Miller explains the important effect that art has in chronicling and providing a more complete view of society.
Recorded on February 26, 2012, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, former National Basketball Association players Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker discuss their collections of African American art and art of the African diaspora with Professor Michael D. Harris. Perry and Walker began to collect art during their extensive travels for their professional sports careers, and both have amassed important holdings of modern and contemporary art that have been exhibited throughout the United States. Both have also dedicated themselves to educational and philanthropic causes to preserve and showcase African American culture. Professor Harris is an artist, curator, and scholar of contemporary African and African American art and has contributed to the exhibition catalogue Images of America: African American Voices: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Walker.
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and Juliette Bethea, collector. In this event recorded on February 15, 2009, as part of the National Gallery of Art lecture series The Collecting of African American Art, Ruth Fine speaks with Washington, DC-based collector Juliette Bethea about her life–long passion for learning and what inspired her to begin acquiring art nearly 40 years ago. Bethea discusses how moving to Washington in 1967 after years of traveling abroad marked a turning point in her engagement with the arts. Through the strong community of artists connected to the Howard University community, Bethea developed a connection with the local art scene.
- Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture Series
- Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art
- Elson Lecture Series
- A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts
- Wyeth Lectures in American Art
- Conversations with Artists
- Collecting of African American Art
- Conversations with Collectors
- Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE)