The Morgan Acquires Drawings By Major 20th-Century African-American Artists From The South

February 8, 2019

The Morgan is excited to announce that it is expanding its collection, one of the most important collections of drawings in the United States, to include 11 drawings by five major 20th-century African-American artists from the South. Largely self-taught, these artists - Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis, and Purvis Young - used drawing to express their personal and cultural identity, finding inspiration in their own lives as well as in common experiences and folk imagery.
The Morgan acquired the drawings through a gift-purchase agreement from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and disseminate the works of African-American artists from the Southern United States.
This acquisition supports the Morgan’s goal to expand the scope and depth of its collection of modern and contemporary drawings by including works from the vernacular, nonacademic traditions of the visual arts. It recognizes the important contribution made to the history of drawing by artists working outside the conventional channels and expands the reflection on the role and significance of the medium of drawing as a vehicle to express a particular identity.
The Morgan Library and Museum, formerly the Pierpont Morgan Library, is a museum and research library located at 225 Madison Ave. at East 36th Street in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.
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