Comprising works by African-American artists from the Southeastern United States, the gift includes three major assemblages by Thornton Dial, two each by Lonnie Holley and Ronald Lockett, a piece by Hawkins Bolden, and one by root sculptor Bessie Harvey, as well as fifteen quilts by the women quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, Alabama, dating from between 1930 and 2005.
"The museum has a longstanding commitment to acquiring works by artists out of the mainstream, but the collection has been insufficiently represented by the works of African-American artists working in a visual tradition that is unique to the Southeast," said Timothy Rub, the museum's CEO and George D. Widener Director. "Now we can present a much more comprehensive picture of the diversity of artistic expression in the post-Civil Rights era. The acquisition will greatly enhance the museum's collection and ensure that future generations will discover and experience these exceptional works of art. We are deeply grateful to the Souls Grown Deep Foundation for making this acquisition possible."
"The Souls Grown Deep Foundation is pleased to collaborate with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to ensure that important works by African-American artists who represent a distinctive voice in contemporary art are represented in its permanent collection," said the foundation's president, Maxwell L. Anderson. "Partnering with the PMA and a growing number of other museums will ensure that the work and history of these artists is accessible to a broad audience."
(Photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art)