“Despite recent efforts, work by African American artists continues to be sidelined within American museums. The perception of progress is buoyed by a handful of important exhibitions, a—very gently—increasing number of acquisitions, and a smattering of headline auction prices.”
Since 2008, just 2.4% of all acquisitions and gifts and 7.6% of all exhibitions at thirty prominent American museums have been the work of African American artists, according to new research published by In Other Words and artnet News.
What can YOU do?
Support local artists of color by attending events and exhibitions.
Take note of works of art by African American artists that you see hanging in museums and send an email to let curators know that you appreciate their selections.
Request private viewings of works of art, especially prints, photographs and drawings, by African American artists at museums and galleries you visit. (It’s free!)
Visit major exhibitions by African American artists – this fall in St. Louis be sure to see Basquiat Before Basquiat and Sanford Biggers at the Contemporary Art Museum and Kehinde Wiley at the St. Louis Art Museum.
Purchase original works by artists of color and encourage others to do the same.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age Portfolio, 2017, is a time capsule of voices collected in 2015, during the protests in Ferguson, available from Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis.
Donate to charities that support the education of African American artists and curators.
Support the educational programs of Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective.