Couple Donates African-American Artworks to Georgia Museum

The Georgia Museum of Art in Athens will receive one hundred works of African-American art from the collection of Larry and Brenda Thompson, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The former U.S. deputy attorney general and retired general counsel and secretary for PepsiCo and his wife, a retired Atlanta Public Schools clinical school psychologist, have amassed one of the largest collections of African-American art in the country and have promised additional gifts to the museum. They also agreed to fund a new curatorial position at the museum that will be responsible for overseeing the museum's African-American and African art holdings, developing special exhibits and educational offerings, conducting research, and publishing.

Last year, "Tradition Redefined," a large touring exhibit curated from the Thompsons' collection, helped inaugurate the museum's $20 million, 30,000-square-foot expansion. A comment made by an African-American high school student after viewing the exhibit that it seemed to represent "freedom" moved the Thompsons and may have spurred their gift.

"We hope other students — black, white, or whatever — will see the work and get that same feeling, that you can't just typecast African-American art," said Brenda Thompson.

Howard Pousner. "Georgia Museum Receives Major Collection." Atlanta Journal-Constitution 01/05/2012.