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Press Kit

Press Release

Rare Still Life by 19th-Century African American Artist Robert Seldon Duncanson Enters Collection

Press Contact:
Miriam Grotte
(202) 842-6864
m-grotte@nga.gov

Chief Press Officer
Deborah Ziska
ds-ziska@nga.gov
(202) 842-6353

Release Date: January 11, 2012

African American History Month is Celebrated with Lectures and Podcasts, Including Conversations with Former NBA Stars Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker, at the National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC—To celebrate African American History Month, the National Gallery of Art presents an array of offerings honoring this rich and diverse cultural legacy. On February 12, Professor David C. Driskell participates in a discussion with curator Ruth Fine, addressing for the first time his role as a collector, and on February 26, collectors and former National Basketball Association players Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker will appear in conversation with Michael D. Harris, Atlanta-based artist, professor, scholar, and curator. The following week, on March 4, the Gallery will host a lecture by Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor of art history and African American Studies, University of California, Irvine, followed by a book signing of her new publication Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum.

All programs are offered free of charge, with availability on a first-come, first-seated basis unless otherwise noted.

Lectures

The Collecting of African American Art VII: David C. Driskell in conversation with Ruth Fine
David C. Driskell, artist, collector and emeritus professor of art history, University of Maryland at College Park, in conversation with Ruth Fine, consulting curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art
Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

The Collecting of African American Art VIII: Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker in conversation with Michael D. Harris
Collectors of African American art and art of the African diaspora and former National Basketball Association players Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker, in conversation with Michael D. Harris, associate professor of art history and African American studies, Emory University
Sunday, February 26, 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum
Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor of art history and African American studies, University of California, Irvine
Book signing of Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum follows.
Sunday, March 4, 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium

Saint-Gaudens' Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment

Gallery 66 in the West Building features the monumental Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment, on long-term renewable loan to the National Gallery of Art from the National Park Service, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, NH. Created by the preeminent sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907), the relief masterfully depicts Colonel Shaw and the first African American infantry unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War. An online feature about the memorial is available at www.nga.gov/feature/shaw/home.shtm.

Collection and Online Tour—African American Artists

The Gallery's collection of American art includes nearly 400 works by African American artists. Currently on view in the East Building Concourse Galleries are Kerry James Marshall's Great America (1994), acquired by the Gallery in April 2011, as well as Alma Thomas' Red Rose Cantata (1973) and Horace Pippin's Interior (1944). In the West Building, the American Galleries feature Joshua Johnson's The Westwood Children (c.1807) and Henry Ossawa Tanner's The Seine (c.1902), among others.

An online tour offers commentary on a selection of 22 paintings, works on paper, and sculpture ranging from a colonial portrait by Joshua Johnson of Baltimore to modern and contemporary pieces by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Martin Puryear, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Willie Cole, Kara Walker, and Lorna Simpson. To begin the online tour, click on www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/ggafamer/ggafamer-main1.html.

Podcasts

The Image of the Black in Western Art, Part II
Panelists: David Bindman, emeritus professor of the history of art, University College London; Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Sharmila Sen, executive editor-at-large, Harvard University Press; and by Faya Causey, head of academic programs, National Gallery of Art.

Since the initial Washington launch of the Image of the Black in Western Art series at the National Gallery of Art in December 2010, two new volumes have been published, bringing the total to six of the ten planned. This panel discussion celebrates the publication of the latest two volumes in this landmark series, which examines the 16th through the 18th century. The 18th century, in particular, was a significant period that saw European slavery reach its apogee and the rise of the abolitionist movement. Recorded on December 11, 2011, this podcast features Professor David Bindman, who briefly introduces the series and highlights selections from the new volumes; Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. discusses portraits of the real people depicted; and editor Sharmila Sen speaks on the publication of the new volumes. (1:07:29 mins.)

Books in the series are available for purchase in the Gallery Shop.
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#122011nl01

The Image of the Black in Western Art, Part I
Panelists in order of participation: Sharmila Sen, general editor for the humanities, Harvard University Press; David Bindman, emeritus professor of the history of art, University College London and the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Faya Causey, head of academic programs, National Gallery of Art; Alison Luchs, curator of early European sculpture, National Gallery of Art; Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art; and Lou Stovall, artist.

In a panel discussion recorded December 12, 2010, at the National Gallery of Art for the Washington launch of the landmark series The Image of the Black in Western Art, David Bindman, coeditor of the series, discusses with Harvard University Press editor Sharmila Sen the complex history and ambitions behind the series. When the expanded and revised series is completed by 2015, there will be 10 books in all, including two new volumes on the 20th century. Other members of the panel examine works made by or depicting people of African descent in the series and in the Gallery's collection. (46:15 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#122810nl05

About Abstraction: A Conversation with Melvin Edwards, Sam Gilliam, and William T. Williams
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, in conversation with artists Melvin Edwards, Sam Gilliam, and William T. Williams
On February 21, 2010, distinguished artists Melvin Edwards, Sam Gilliam, and William T. Williams joined Ruth Fine for a conversation about the role of abstraction in their work as well as the most important influences on their careers. (64:54 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#062210nl02

The Collecting of African American Art II: Reflections on Collecting
Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, director of Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, and Dr. Walter O. Evans, collector
In the second program of the Collecting of African American Art series, retired surgeon Walter O. Evans discusses his extraordinary collection. Joining him is Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, primary author of The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, a catalogue for the international loan exhibition of mid-19th- to late-20th-century work in Evans' collection. Their conversation, recorded on February 17, 2008, at the National Gallery of Art, explores how Evans began collecting African American art, his friendships with artists and writers, and his future plans for the collection. (83:08 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#042611nl05

The Collecting of African American Art III: A Peculiar Destiny: The Mission of the Paul R. Jones Collection
Amalia K. Amaki, professor of art history, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and Paul R. Jones, collector
In the third program of the Collecting of African American Art series, Paul R. Jones discusses not only his dedication to supporting emerging African American artists but also his efforts to see that their art is better represented in public collections. Joining him is Amalia K. Amaki, editor and contributing author for A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, which features the work of nearly 70 artists—most of which has been given to the University of Delaware. Their conversation, recorded on February 24, 2008, at the National Gallery of Art, reveals that Jones began collecting art while he was pursuing a career in public service—working in civil rights, housing and urban development, and the Peace Corps. (84:47 mins)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#050311nl01

The Collecting of African American Art IV: A Historical Overview
Jacqueline Francis, independent scholar
In this podcast recorded on February 8, 2009, at the National Gallery of Art, Jacqueline Francis traces the origins of collecting African American art in the United States and the role of academic institutions, galleries, and specialized museums in supporting artists. Francis focuses on six distinguished private collections belonging to Barnett-Aden; Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr.; Walter O. Evans; David C. Driskell; Grant Hill; and Harmon and Harriet Kelley. Francis also provides an overview of institutional collecting by museums, private corporations, and universities. (59:51 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#110210nl01

The Collecting of African American Art V: Collecting as a Way of Life
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and Juliet Bethea, collector, Washington, DC
Private collections of art by African Americans have received considerable public exposure in recent years through both exhibitions and educational programs. In this Notable Lectures podcast, recorded on February 15, 2009, Fine speaks to collector Bethea about her passion for learning and what inspired her to begin collecting nearly 40 years ago. (71:31 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#022409lect01

The Collecting of African American Art VI: The Art of Collecting
Texas-based collectors Harmon and Harriet Kelley and Deborah Willis, professor, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
Since 1987 the Kelleys have amassed an art collection that represents a kaleidoscopic view of African American life and cultural history from the 19th to 21st centuries. In this podcast, recorded on February 22, 2009, at the National Gallery of Art, Willis speaks to the Kelleys about their passion and determination to build a collection that advances and preserves the legacy of African American art. (67:00 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#030309lect01

Augustus Saint-Gaudens and the Shaw Memorial
Filmmaker Paul G. Sanderson III and Gregory C. Schwarz, chief of interpretation, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, NH
The monumental plaster model for one of the greatest works of American sculpture, Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment, is on view in the National Gallery of Art. In this podcast, Schwarz talks to Sanderson about the filmmaker's new documentary exploring the life and work of one of America's most renowned sculptors. (15:41 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#021909arttalk02

Ritz Chamber Players
Program: Music by Dvorak, Mozart, and Villa-Lobos
The Ritz Chamber Players, the only all-African American professional chamber music ensemble, play masterworks of 18th- to 20th-century chamber music in concert at the National Gallery of Art. Members of the ensemble performing in this podcast are Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin, Amadi Azikiwe, viola, Tahira Whittington, cello, Judy Dines, flute, and Terrence Wilson, piano. (71:11 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#100518

Concert in Honor of African American History Month by Celeste Headlee and Danielle DeSwert
Program: Songs by William Grant Still for soprano and piano
Listen to music by William Grant Still, known as the dean of African American composers, performed by Celeste Headlee, W. G. Still's granddaughter, and Danielle DeSwert. One of the country's most celebrated and prolific composers, Still wrote more than 150 works, including symphonies, ballets, operas, chamber pieces, and vocal works. (52:03 mins.)
Concert Notes (PDF 88k): http://www.nga.gov/programs/pdf/mscfeb27-08.pdf
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/index.shtm#022708

Arttalk: Martin Puryear, Part 1: Evolution of an Exhibition
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and John Elderfield, exhibition curator and chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art
Internationally acclaimed artist and native Washingtonian Martin Puryear creates monumental sculptures that recall architecture, craft traditions, and organic forms. In the first of this two-part podcast, produced on the occasion of the Gallery exhibition Martin Puryear, Elderfield talks to Fine about working with the artist to develop this landmark show. (6:58 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/#0902arttalk01

Arttalk: Martin Puryear, Part 2: Defining the Object
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, and John Elderfield, exhibition curator and chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art
In the second of this two-part podcast, produced on the occasion of the Gallery exhibition Martin Puryear, the two curators converse about Elderfield's own interpretation of the artist's sculptures. (6:53 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/#0909arttalk02

Martin Puryear: Sculpture that Tries to Describe Itself to the World
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art
In this podcast recorded on June 22, 2008, for the Martin Puryear retrospective exhibition opening at the National Gallery of Art, curator Ruth Fine discusses the work of District of Columbia native Martin Puryear. The retrospective included 46 sculptures made between 1975 and 2007. The first exhibition in the Gallery's history to be installed in both the East and West Buildings, it provided a unique opportunity to view Puryear's sculpture in modern and classical settings. Fine discusses the installation process for Puryear's work at the Gallery, designed in collaboration with the artist, as well as the intentions behind the placement of sculptures. (51:59 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/#092810nl04

Martin Puryear: How Things Fit Together
John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of Modern Art curator John Elderfield, the organizing curator of the Martin Puryear retrospective exhibition, discusses the work of his friend Martin Puryear in this podcast recorded on September 28, 2008, at the National Gallery of Art. Puryear's oeuvre draws on forms inspired by a wide range of interests—including ornithology, falconry, archery, and objects of shelter—and incorporates not only traditional sculpture techniques but also processes associated with furniture making, boatbuilding, and basketry, such as joinery and weaving. The artist's materials include a variety of woods, tar, wire, mesh, rawhide, and found objects. (61:38 mins.)
http://www.nga.gov/podcasts/#100510nl01

Podcasts to be Released in February 2012

February 7, 2012
Conversation with Artists: David C. Driskell
David C. Driskell, professor emeritus, University of Maryland at College Park; Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art; and Julie L. McGee, author of David C. Driskell: Artist and Scholar
(original program date: April 14, 2007)

Works on Paper by African Americans: The Growth of the National Gallery of Art Collection
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art
(original program date: January 16, 2011)

February 14, 2012
The Collecting of African American Art VII: David C. Driskell in conversation with Ruth Fine
David C. Driskell, artist, collector and emeritus professor of art history, University of Maryland at College Park, in conversation with Ruth Fine, consulting curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art
(original program date: February 12, 2012)

Remembering and Forgetting: Imagery and Its Role in the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
James Walvin, professor of history, University of York, United Kingdom
(original program date: February 18, 2007)

February 21, 2012
Norman Lewis in Harlem: "An Inquiry into the Laws of Nature"
Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art
(original program date: January 15, 2006)

Conversations with Artists: "Romare Bearden" Photographs by Frank Stewart
David C. Driskell, distinguished professor emeritus of art, University of Maryland, introduces Frank Stewart, senior staff photographer, Jazz at Lincoln Center
(original program date: December 11, 2004)

February 28, 2012
The Collecting of African American Art VIII: Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker in conversation with Michael Harris
Collectors of African American art and art of the African diaspora and former National Basketball Association players Elliot Perry and Darrell Walker, in conversation with Michael D. Harris, associate professor of art history and African American studies, Emory University
(original program date: February 26, 2012)

Conversations with Artists: Compositions and Collaborations: The Arts of Lou Stovall
Lou Stovall, artist, in conversation with Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art
(original program date: August 10, 2003)

Special Online Features on Romare Bearden

In conjunction with the 2003 exhibition The Art of Romare Bearden a number of Web features and resources are available:
Career: http://www.nga.gov/feature/bearden/index.shtm
Education resources: http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/bearden/
Children's guide: http://www.nga.gov/kids/zone/beardencg.pdf)

Special Online Feature on Martin Puryear

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. With the exception of the atrium and library, the galleries in the East Building will remain closed until late fall 2016 for Master Facilities Plan and renovations. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
 
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: pressinfo@nga.gov
 
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications – Converged Media
(202) 842-6804
a-guthrie@nga.gov

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