A new exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum celebrates the acquisition of 11 drawings from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting southern black artists and their communities.
Another tradition: drawings by black artists from the southern United States, on display at Morgan’s Thaw Gallery until January 16, 2022, focuses on drawings by Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis and Purvis Young. One or two generations removed from slavery and subjected to the abuse of Jim Crow, these artists developed formal techniques using materials found and skills learned outside of the classroom and studio. Many, including Dial, Rowe and Lonnie Holley, have exhibited their creations in their homes in elaborate “garden shows”, drawing the attention of passers-by and figures from the art world.
Drawing is the focus of this intimate exhibition, which also incorporates institutional and private loans of works by Holley, Rowe, Sister Gertrude Morgan and Bill Traylor. While some of the gallery’s works have been made on traditional artist’s papers, others incorporate the unique qualities of the media found. The range of media includes watercolor, ballpoint pen, pencil and even glitter.
Although each of the eight artists featured in Another tradition Speaking in a distinctive voice, the show intends to illuminate the formal and thematic connections that arise from their shared geographies and experiences.
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