Press Release

Souls Grown Deep Foundation Announces Five Museum Acquisition Agreements and First-Ever Sale of Artwork to Fund Advocacy Activities

Atlanta, Georgia
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Brooklyn Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, The Morgan Library & Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Acquire Major Works by Artists of the African American South from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation; Proceeds from Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Sale of Thornton Dial Painting to Support New Internship Program for Undergraduate Students of Color

The Souls Grown Deep Foundation (SGDF) continues to place works from its foremost collection of artworks by artists from the African American South in leading institutions around the country, today announcing agreements with the Brooklyn Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, The Morgan Library & Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. An additional sale of a single artwork, Thornton Dial’s 2002 painting Fading, at Christie’s on November 16, 2018 will support the recently announced multi-year Souls Grown Deep Internship Program, which establishes paid opportunities for undergraduate students of color to work with museums receiving art from the Foundation to contribute to the study and exhibition of this artwork. 

“Our core mission is to advocate for artists of the African American South represented in our collection. We could not be happier to announce that five additional institutions will now have significant holdings of these artists in their permanent collections. These acquisitions will broaden the exposure of works by these important American artists among audiences around the country and provide new opportunities for exhibition, research, and other partnerships,” said Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, president of the Foundation. 

In 2014, the Foundation began to develop opportunities for major museums to add works from its collection. In the past four years, SGDF has placed more than 300 objects in twelve institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, High Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ackland Art Museum, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Among the five this fall, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art represents the first historically black university to acquire objects from Souls Grown Deep. The fall 2018 acquisitions include a total of 51 objects by 30 primarily female artists. 

 

MUSEUM ACQUISITIONS

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum will acquire 14 works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, including key works by Thornton Dial, Gee’s Bend quilters Lucy T. Pettway, Ella Mae Irby, and Gloria Hoppins, Lonnie Holley, and James “Son Ford” Thomas.

 

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art will acquire seven works, including works by Thornton Dial, Ronald Lockett, and Nellie Mae Rowe, as well as several outstanding examples of Gee’s Bend quilts. At the same time, Dallas collector Marguerite Hoffman has promised to the museum a Thornton Dial painting, Two Coats (2003), that she recently purchased from the Foundation.

 

The Morgan Library & Museum 

The Morgan Library & Museum will acquire 11 drawings by artists including Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis, and Purvis Young.

 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is in the process of finalizing its acquisition of works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, including 12 quilts by Gee’s Bend artists.

 

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is the first museum at a historically black college and university to acquire works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. It will acquire seven standout examples of Gee’s Bend quilts.

 

FUNDING FOR INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Earlier this year, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved a new framework for the Foundation to expand its mission, including the adoption of a new strategic plan that builds on the Foundation’s existing program of transferring work by artists from the African-American South into museum collections. New initiatives include improving the socio-economic conditions of these artists and their communities, initiating a new grant program, and the creation of the internship program. To advance these initiatives, on November 16, 2018, Souls Grown Deep Foundation will put Thornton Dial’s 2002 painting Fading up for auction in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale. This is the first time a work from the collection will be auctioned to support advocacy initiatives. 

“The sale of Thornton Dial’s Fading amplifies the efforts of our museum transfer program through the participation of rising museum professionals in the new internship program,” Anderson added.  

All proceeds from the sale will be used to support the new multi-year internship program. The 2019 Sponsors of the SGDF Internship Program are the generous donors Karen Elizaga & Jay Ptashek. Their donation will support internships at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The Souls Grown Deep Internship program provides undergraduate students of color paid internships, providing the opportunity to develop professional experience in art museums with financial support. Students apply for internships in relevant curatorial, registrarial, conservation, education, and/or administrative positions at art museums that have acquired art from the Foundation. Successful applicants will be afforded the opportunity to work directly with art recently acquired from the Foundation collection and gain experience in museum work in general. Each internship includes a trip to visit the Foundation’s collection in Atlanta and the artists and communities it serves in the Southeast. For more information on the internship program, go to www.soulsgrowndeep.org/internships

 

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Nellie Mae Rowe, Picking Cotton, 1981

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