Release Date: April 12, 2019
American Art, 1900–1950: The Evans-Tibbs Collection
East Building, Ground Level, Gallery 106B
The National Gallery of Art has recently installed eight paintings and sculptures from the mid-20th century derived from the Evans-Tibbs Collection. This grouping reveals the variety of subjects, styles, and positions that African American artists staked out, often against the odds, within the history of modernism. The paintings on view are Margaret G. Burroughs's Still Life (1943); Hughie Lee-Smith's Reflection (1957); Hale Woodruff's Landscape (1936); Edward L. Loper's Quarry (c. 1939/1940); Lois Mailou Jones's The Lovers (Somali Friends) (1950), and Aaron Douglas's Into Bondage (1936), a powerful depiction of enslaved Africans bound for the Americas. Also included are two stunning sculptures: Elizabeth Catlett's Reclining Female Nude (1955) and Richmond Barthé's Head of a Boy (c. 1930). The group is supplemented by Douglas's The Judgement Day (1939), acquired by the Gallery in 2014, and Lee-Smith's Slum Song (1944), on loan from the Hakuta Family.
A tireless art dealer, collector, and promoter who lived in Washington, DC, as well as the grandson of the opera star known as Madame Lillian Evanti, Thurlow Evans Tibbs, Jr., (1952–1997) acquired more than 600 works ranging from the 1890s to the 1990s and transformed his family's historic house on Vermont Avenue into a gallery. Tibbs bequeathed a group of 32 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by African American artists to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1996. Following the closing of the Corcoran in 2014, the collection (supplemented by one partial gift from Tibbs and 11 works donated in his memory) entered the Gallery, along with an important archive that Tibbs assembled to document the history of black artists and their work in the United States. The archive was recently displayed in the cases of the East Building Study Center as part of the exhibition In the Library: The Evans-Tibbs Archive of African American Art through April 12, 2019.
The installation is curated by Harry Cooper, senior curator of modern art, National Gallery of Art.
Laurie Tylec, (202) 842-6355 or [email protected]
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