Working Towards the Sea Change, Now the Countdown Begins

Working Towards the Sea Change, Now the Countdown Begins

By Cheryl McGinnis

  • Emma Amos has gained a seat at the table with white mid-century artists

  • The Whitney Museum will mount a large scale exhibit for black artists

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From historically black art museums and galleries to one of the most important museums for American contemporary art, Emma Amos has arrived and gained a seat at the table with the important male, white mid-century artists. It’s a huge achievement for the artist, for the public, for the museum and for those of us who have continually mounted exhibits of once underrepresented artists whose voices will now be apart of the American Art History.

Why This Matters: It has always been my hope that her work would break out of these confines someday. I wanted a greater audience to benefit from work like Emma’s. That day has come because in May, the Whitney Museum will mount an exhibit that will forever change the context of Emma’s work and on a larger scale black artists in general. Spilling Over Color: Painting Color in the 1960’s is a large group exhibit that explores the use of color in that decade with artists Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Miriam Shapiro and others.

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Nigeria’s Bronze Artifacts Returning Home

Nigeria’s Bronze Artifacts Returning Home

By CultureBanx Team

  • 26 cultural artifacts are being returned from France

  • 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage is now believed to be in Europe

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Beautiful Benin Bronze art pieces, that once called modern day Nigeria home are finally being returned from France. There are 26 cultural artifacts which were removed from Africa during the colonial era undergoing restitution from France to the country.

Why This Matters: Around 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage is now believed to be in Europe, according to Reuters. The art in question is currently housed at the Musee du Quai Branly museum in Paris and they were seized in 1892 as the spoils of war.  

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Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Returns Home

Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Returns Home

By CultureBanx Team

  • Ben Enwonwu’s famed “Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair

  • The painting sold for a record $1.57M, the highest-valued work of Nigerian modern art

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Nigeria’s best-known modern artist Ben Enwonwu’s famed “Tutu” painting is being shown in the country for the first time since it disappeared. Originally painted in 1974, it went missing the next year and finally re-surfaced in February in north London.

Why This Matters: “Tutu” was loaned to the Art X Lagos fair for a weekend showing by Access Bank earlier this month. Enwonwu is etched in Nigeria’s art history, but his work has not drawn the auction prices to match his stature. Part of the reason for this mismatch in pricing and stature could be Nigeria’s art market still finding its footing on the global stage.

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Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

By Cheryl McGinnis

  • “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” exhibit runs through March 3, 2019

  • Jim Crow was a character created by a white actor for minstrel shows in NYC

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When Megyn Kelly made another in a series of racist comments last month, it wasn’t very surprising. However, her latest tirade about dressing up in blackface got me writing to NBC with historical facts based on a remarkable exhibit at the New-York Historical Society. It opened on September 6 and runs through to March 3, 2019 called Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow.

Why This Matters: Here are some of the facts, NBC and Megyn Kelly overlooked: Jim Crow was a character created by a white actor for minstrel shows in NYC. During the time of a devastating failed Reconstruction that produced the Ku Klux Klan, white performer Thomas Dartmouth, aka Daddy Rice did a song and dance Jump Jim Crow or Jim Crow in blackface.  

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Chicago Taps Into Black Art For West Side Rehabilitation

Chicago Taps Into Black Art For West Side Rehabilitation

By CultureBanx Team

  • “Knowledge and Wonder” estimated to sell for $10M - $15M

  • Black people make up nearly 44% of the Chicago’s West side population

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Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel is betting that artwork by Kerry James Marshall can help the city revive its West side. He announced a library in the area where one of Marshall’s paintings resides, would sell the artwork estimated to go for $10 million - $15 million at Christie’s auction house.

Why This Matters: Marshall’s painting “Knowledge and Wonder,” was completed in 1995 for the Legler branch of the Chicago Public Library, he originally received a fee of $10,000 for the mural. The building is in the city’s poorer West side, where black people make up nearly 44% of the population, according to The New York Times.

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