In Ancestry and Innovation: African American Art from the American Folk Art Museum, we celebrate the enduring contribution of self-taught black artists to the American visual experience. Featuring thirty-nine works by artists from the rural south and urban north, Ancestry and Innovation juxtaposes complex and vibrant quilts with works by a revered generation of artists. From painters, sculptors, and collage artists such as Sam Doyle, David Butler, and Bessie Harvey to contemporary masters such as Thornton Dial to emerging talents such as Kevin Sampson and Willie LeRoy Elliott to quilters such as Nora McKeon Ezell and Lureca Outland, these artists offer an eloquent vision of their life stories through works of powerful artistry.
Ancestry and Innovation: African American Art from the American Folk Art Museum was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibition was made possible by Met Life Foundation.
Images Top to Bottom:
Star Quilt, 1977; Nora McKeon Ezell (b. 1917) Eutaw, Ala. Cotton and synthetics;94 x79"; collection American Folk Art Museum,New York,museum purchase made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, with matching fund from The Great American Quilt Festival 3, 1991.13.1 Photo by Scott Bowron
Playing Cards, c. 1970; Clementine Hunter (1886/1887-1988) Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches, La. Oil on canvas board; 18 x24"; collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Mildred Hart Bailey/ Clementine Hunter Art Trust, 1996.1.2 Photo by Gavin Ashworth