Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South

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Published in conjunction with the exhibitions beginning in September 2000 organized by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Exhibitions International, this volume presents a collection of contemporary work as testimony to the continuing struggle for social justice, cultural identity, and spiritual and personal fulfillment experienced by Southern African Americans. It contains about 100 color paintings, drawings, and sculptures by 27 self-taught black artists. The six themes comprise witnessing ...
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Overview

Published in conjunction with the exhibitions beginning in September 2000 organized by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Exhibitions International, this volume presents a collection of contemporary work as testimony to the continuing struggle for social justice, cultural identity, and spiritual and personal fulfillment experienced by Southern African Americans. It contains about 100 color paintings, drawings, and sculptures by 27 self-taught black artists. The six themes comprise witnessing history; the representation of allegorical animals, iconic figures, and religious scenes; spiritual and protective messages; and the direct observation of daily life. Essays by distinguished scholars offer critical viewpoints on current issues. Short biographies of the artists, accompanied by their own words, are interwoven with the illustrations.

Annotation © Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With more than 100 pieces by 27 self-taught artists, Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South highlights the Ronald and June Shelp Collection, supplementing a traveling exhibition co-curated by Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Exhibitions International. Mary Proctor's beautiful pastiche of paint and broken pottery on a wood door, Thornton Dial Sr.'s dreamlike watercolor and graphite works, Leroy Almon's painted and carved wood depiction of four notorious U.S. assassinations and Purvis Young's alternative biblical scenes are among the 171 illustrations (101 in full color). Scholars including Kinshasa H. Conwill, director emeritus of Harlem's Studio Museum, and Arthur C. Danto, art critic for the Nation, contribute essays on social, political and craft-related aspects of the work. ( Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Once categorized as folk but more recently described as outsider or vernacular, the work of essentially self-taught artists has gained in reputation and value in the last half-century. Testimony is the catalog for a traveling exhibition organized by the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture that features 27 Southern African American vernacular painters and sculptors whose artwork is part of the Ronald and June Shelp Collection. Some of the featured artists are well known in the field, including Thornton Dial Jr., who appeared in the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Preceding the biographical information and catalog entries, which are accompanied by portraits of the artists and color reproductions of the objects in the exhibition, are a series of essays by leading scholars on this subject. Besides providing social, art historical, and interpretive commentary on the collection, several essays raise intriguing issues regarding the changing views of the concept of folk, outsider, and vernacular art in contemporary criticism. Although sometimes pedantic, this book can be recommended to any library with an interest in art or African American studies. Eugene C. Burt, Data Arts, Seattle Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810944848
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 10.62 (h) x 0.87 (d)

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