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Indepth Arts News:

"Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art"
2001-07-07 until 2001-11-25
Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma, WA, USA United States of America

The extraordinary scope and diversity of African American art will be on view at the Tacoma Art Museum beginning July 7 with the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art. This is one of the most significant African American collections in the country, comprising more than 80 works of African American art ranging from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Evans, who grew up in Georgia and South Carolina, became interested in art when he began visiting museums while he was in the U.S. Navy during the mid-1960s. He enjoyed the art, but was struck by the absence of African American artists and subjects. Subsequently, Evans began collecting art in 1977 with the purchase of a portfolio of prints by Jacob Lawrence.

Beginning with works made in the period just after the Civil War, the exhibition comprises a chronological view of African American fine art traditions; in addition, the stories and challenges of individual artists are also evident. From the pioneering efforts of early artists such as landscape painters Edward Mitchell Banister and Scott Duncanson to the early twentieth century with the Harlem Renaissance when artists began exploring African images and styles, as seen in the paintings and sculptures of Aaron Douglas and Richmond Barthé.

Works from artists such as Charles White and Augusta Savage take you through the years around the Great Depression, when many art schools and community centers were established by the federal government. The collection concludes with works from the end of the twentieth century, when African American artists experimented with modern styles and the expression of their own identity. This is evident in the works of Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Alma Lewis and others as they faced the profound political and social controversies of the Civil Rights movement and its legacy.

Don’t miss the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, a vibrant collection of works that draw on the unique experiences of African American artists during the last 150 years, covering enormous territory in the history of African American art.

We Have Been Believers, 1940
charcoal on paper
21 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches

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