New Gallery Reflects African-American Experience and Identity
The first installation, Lift Every Voice: African-American Art from the Permanent Collection, presents paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs spanning a period of 140 years. Works by Benny Andrews, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Radcliffe Bailey, and Kerry James Marshall, among other artists, will be on display through January 3, 2010. Although the works in the gallery will be diverse in media and subject matter, all will reflect aspects of African-American experience and identity.
Jacob Lawrence’s Builders No. 1 (1971) will also be shown in the first installation. The Museum brought one of the first tours of the combined Phillips Gallery (Washington, DC) and Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY) collections of Lawrence’s Migration Series, a moving interpretation of the journey of African-Americans from the South to the North during the early 20th century, to Birmingham.
Contemporary works in the gallery include Willie Cole’s G. E. Mask and Scarification, with its modern day references to the marks of slavery, and Emma Amos’s Measuring Measuring and Lorna Simpson’s Tense, which address racism and cultural standards of beauty.