200 Years of African Art (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
From January- April 2015, The Philadelphia Museum is showcasing its expansive and notable collection of works by African American artists. The exhibit 200 Years of African American Art is an expression of personal, political, and racial identity by renowned artists like Jacob Lawrence, Carrie Mae Weems, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. Mae Weems is an American artist best known for her work in the field of photography, and she focuses on serious issues such as racism and personal identity that African Americans have to face.
The first painting in the 200 years of African American Art exhibit is Henry Ossawa Tanner’s landmark painting The Annunciation in 1889. The painting is a first on another front, it was the first painting acquired by The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Tanner actually is a Pennsylvania native, and even spent some time in Philly. He was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and was the only black student. Since the Museum acquired Tanner’s painting, the collection of works by African American artists has grown significantly.
As you walk through the exhibit, there are more than 75 paintings and sculptures representing the struggles and triumphs of African Americans from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. The evolution of the art throughout the decades is striking. In the 1960’s, many of the artists used abstract paintings and sculptures to capture the climate of the times. By the 1980’s, many of the artists were using pictures and text to illustrate the past.
Make it a date night, and after viewing the 200 years of African American Art exhibit dine at the neighboring Waterworks- 640 Water Works Drive. We recommend the Canadian Bay Salmon with Sautéed Spinach, Fingering Potatoes, Apple Cider Beurre Blanc.
200 Years of African Art
January- April 2015
Philadelphia Art Museum
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130