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

CBx Vibe:Reflecting” Rich Homie Quan

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.  

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

CBx Vibe:Work Out” Chance the Rapper

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.

Drawing the Bag: Black Artists Elude American Museums

By Donitra Clemons

  • Less than 3% of museum acquisitions over the past decade have been of African American art

  • Only 4% museum curators are African American

CBx Vibe:Change” J. Cole

African American artist create some of the most compelling visual pieces of our generation, yet the fundamental shift in the way its valued is alarming. American museums continue to give these artist the short end of the stick, since less than three percent of their acquisitions over the past decade have been of works by black artists.

Why This Matters: Last spring, one of Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings sold for $110.5 million, becoming the most expensive work by an American artist ever sold at auction.This didn’t greatly move the needle in getting more museums to pick up other works by black artists. Since 2008, only 7.6% of all exhibitions at 30 prominent American museums have showcased art by African American artists, according to a joint investigation by In Other Wordsand artnet News.

“Brick House” Sculpture Puts Black Female Strength on Display

By CultureBanx Team

  • A 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman will grace NYC’s High Line

  • Simone Leigh’s art pieces sell for $40,000 to $125,000

CBx Vibe: “Brick House” Commodores

Manhattan’s elevated outdoor walkway, the High Line will open its first section solely dedicated to art. High Line announced its inaugural project for the Plinth will be a 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman by artist Simone Leigh. The art piece is titled “Brick House”, and is a reference to the 1977 disco-funk classic Motown hit by the Commodores.

Why This Matters: Leigh is beginning to garner worldwide attention for her work across sculpture, video and installation. She specializes on the intersection of African American feminism, as it relates to  political and economic environments. Her work now sells from anywhere between $40,000 to $125,000.

Philadelphia Art Collector Challenges Black Artists Prices

By Cheryl McGinnis

  • Dr. Barnes owned 3 Horace Pippin pieces

  • Pippin’s work is about the atrocities and social injustices of slavery in America

CBx Vibe: “Some More” Future

The Barnes collection in the city of brotherly love is home to one of the greatest groups of impressionists, including art from Renoir, Matisse and Picasso. Dr. Albert C. Barnes curated his collection from 1912-1951 and includes important pieces of African art.

Why This Matters: While Dr. Barnes did amass an envious collection, that included African art and artifacts and Native American pottery and jewelry, was he really was committed to African American artists? It seems that a man who had “deep holdings” of important artists, was woefully short on black artists within the region of Pennsylvania and the U.S. in general.

Can Blockchain Fuel Black Art Sales?

By Jonathan Etheart

  • $500 million spent on 100 paintings at New York art auctions in 2018

  • Blockchain is expected to handle up to $60 billion in transactions by 2024

CBx Vibe: “Face the World” Nipsey Hussle

There's been a recent spending spree on paintings by black artists highlighted with the sales of Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Flesh & Spirit" for $30.7 million and Kerry James Marshall's "Past Times", which was purchased by Diddy for $21.1 million. As art continues to be both a strong alternative investment option and increasingly popular for the black elite, can cryptocurrencies and Blockchain change the art landscape?

Why This Matters: Wealthy people all over the world continue to buy art as both showcases of their deep bank accounts and to diversify their investment portfolios.  While cash is still king, cyptocurrencies are becoming an increasingly more prevalent way to make purchases and blockchain is becoming the trusted ledger of record. 

As the black elite expands (think Diddy, Swizz Beatz, and Jay Z), what they’re putting their money into art collections they intend to pass on to their children. In order to stay ahead of the curve they will need to pay attention to the many art focused funds on the market and look to buy new pieces with cryptocurrencies. This may be a safer alternative for purchasing art because it ensures the transactions are tracked using blockchain technology.  It will be a way to prove undisputed ownership over generations and also provide an opportunity to even purchase digital art.  

Exactly how does this work?  Cryptocurrency creates scarcity and blockchain technology generates an official record. So as someone buys physical or digital art, the pieces will have certain digital "authentic" copies and everything will be tracked via the blockchain system. It ensures anyone can access the receipts and inventory of art a person owns digitally.