Robert Blackburn & Modern American Printmaking
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition
Dates: March 2020 – August 2022
Curated by Deborah Cullen and organized by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in cooperation with the Trust for Robert Blackburn and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts’ Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Program, this exhibit explored the life and work of master printmaker Robert Blackburn. This 70-piece exhibition of prints by Robert Blackburn and artists with whom he collaborated (including Romare Bearden, Grace Hardigan, Jacob Lawrence, and more) traveled across the country from 2020–2022. The exhibition itinerary included: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA; The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY; and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.
For more information about the exhibition, visit the Smithsonian website.
Another American’s Autobiography: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
Chrin Gallery, Sigal Museum, Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society
Address: 342 Northampton Street, Easton, PA 18042
Dates: November 19, 2021 – July 10, 2022
Guest curated by Claudia Volpe, Director of the Petrucci Family Foundation, Another American’s Autobiography: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation’s Collection of African American Art featured over 25 pieces of art from our collection.
The selected works explored American patriotism and identity as it relates to the Black American experience. This exhibition addressed the challenges of Black patriotism and the circumstances that complicate the relationship between Black Americans and this country. It asked the guests: What does it mean to be patriotic? Who comes to mind when we think of an American Patriot? Can we redefine and reimagine our symbols of patriotism or our expressions of allegiance?
This exhibition aimed to affirm the role of Black Americans in shaping our national identity and to elevate civic engagement and constructive patriotism as a valid and healthy expression of a love of country. It featured work from a wide variety of media including film, sculpture, textiles, and more.
More information about this exhibition can be found on the Sigal Museum’s website.
Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
Ridderhof Martin and duPont Galleries, University of Mary Washington
Address: 1301 College Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: January 27 – March 24, 2022
The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art was pleased to have loaned over 30 works to the Ridderhof Martin and duPont Galleries at the University of Mary Washington (UMW). Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves was co-curated by a cohort of UMW students, faculty, and community members. This cohort collaboratively planned an exhibition approach that encourages reflection, healing, and regrouping after enduring several years of national tension that filtered down to their community. From a portrait series that unpacks childhood trauma and radical forgiveness to a quilt that’s grounded in ancestral traditions, these works call on us to contemplate all that we’ve endured and how we can move forward as a stronger community.
Read more about this exhibition here: https://www.umwgalleries.org/healing/
Figures and Projections: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery, Kutztown University
Address: 15200 Kutztown Rd., Kutztown, PA 19530
Dates: October 28 – December 31, 2021
The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art is pleased to loan over 40 works to The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery at Kutztown University. Figures and Projections was co-curated by Art History professor Daniel Haxall, Gallery Director Karen Stanford, and students from Kutztown University. This exhibition explores how African American artists portray the human form to represent the Black experience in America. From formal portraits and images of everyday life to abstracted suggestions of bodies in motion, these works project the beauty, aspirations, and achievements of African Americans while commemorating ongoing efforts for equality and social justice.
More information about this exhibition is included in this brochure.
The digital catalog for this exhibition is available here: https://issuu.com/millerku/docs/pff_at_ku
Creating Community. Cinque Gallery Artists
The Art Students League of New York
Address: 215 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
Dates: May 3 – July 3, 2021
The Art Students League of New York partnered with the Romare Bearden Foundation to present “Creating Community. Cinque Gallery Artists.” Organized by guest curator and arts administrator Susan Stedman, alongside Cinque’s first artist in residence, Nanette Carter, this special exhibition is the first introductory survey to focus on Cinque Gallery.
Cinque Gallery (named after Joseph Cinqué, the leader of the Amistad slave ship mutiny of the 1830s) was an artist-led non-profit founded in 1969 by Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, and Norman Lewis to support a creative community of primarily minority artists at different stages in their careers. Cinque Gallery hosted solo, group, and touring exhibitions, presenting artwork by approximately 450 artists including Benny Andrews, Emma Amos, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, Bill Hutson, Norma Morgan, Debra Priestly, and many more.
For more information about this exhibition, visit the Art Students League website: https://theartstudentsleague.org/event/cinque-gallery-2021/
womenXwomen: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
Penn State Lehigh Valley, Ronald K. De Long Gallery
Address: 2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley, PA 18034
Dates: January 27 – March 14, 2020
womenXwomen is a selection of artwork by (with the exception of Alix Ayme) African American women from the PFF collection. The selected works range from representations of other women, artists representing themselves, and pieces that capture the tremendous power that these artists have in their art forms.
Ann Lalik’s curation enhanced this show by displaying works by iconic artists, as well as incredible talents of the next generation, capturing their influence on and dialogue with one another. Featured artists include: Syd Carpenter, Lavett Ballard, Ify Chiejina, Mequita Ahuja, Latoya Hobbes, Allison Janae Hamilton, Barbara Jane Bullock, Elizabeth Catlett, and Joyce Scott.
Gallery Website: https://lehighvalley.psu.edu/womenxwomen
Afrocosmologies: American Reflections
Address: 600 Main Street, Hartford CT, 06103
Dates: October 19, 2019 – January 20, 2020
Black artists explore spirituality and culture in Afrocosmologies: American Reflections. Alongside artists of the late-nineteenth century, contemporary artists define new ideas about spirituality, identity, and the environment in ways that move beyond traditional narratives of Black Christianity. In dialogue, these works acknowledge a continuing body of beliefs—a cosmology—that incorporates the centrality of nature, ritual, and relationships between the human and the divine. Emerging from the rich religious and aesthetic traditions of West Africa and the Americas, these works present a dynamic cosmos of influences that shape Contemporary art.
The exhibition brings together the work of an incredible assortment of artists including Romare Bearden, Dawoud Bey, Elizabeth Catlett, Willie Cole, Titus Kaphar, Lois Mailou Jones, Alison Saar, Hale Woodruff, and Shinique Smith along with many additional artists of note. It was accompanied by a 156-page, fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Frank Mitchell, Berrisford Boothe, Claudia Highbaugh, and Kristin Hass.
Exhibition Link: https://www.thewadsworth.org/afrocosmologies-american-reflections/
An Essential Presence: The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
Allentown Art Museum, Scheller and Fowler Galleries
Address: 31 N 5th St. Allentown, PA 18101
Dates: June 2 – September 1, 2019
This exhibition presents sixty-five pieces from the esteemed Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art, including more than forty works new to the collection and on view for the first time. Spanning the late nineteenth century to the current decade, the show features work by such celebrated artists as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Charles White, and Elizabeth Catlett. Simultaneously, it heralds groundbreaking contemporary artists like Vanessa German, William Villalongo, and Syd Carpenter. With paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs, this selection gives a sense of the broad range of powerful and sensitive artwork made by artists of the African diaspora over more than a century. From realism to abstraction, with humor, grace, and pathos, the works in this exhibition sample this important private collection built in the last six years under the direction of curator Berrisford Boothe.
Founded in 2006, the Petrucci Family Foundation (PFF) actively responds to the needs of the communities it serves, with the mission of supporting education and creating opportunity for Americans at every stage of and station of life. The PFF Collection of African-American Art is a targeted initiative to bring focus to the full range of African-American visual creativity and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art. This important collection, the result of a partnership between Lehigh University professor Berrisford Boothe and regional real-estate developer Jim Petrucci, has received national attention following its exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art in 2017.
Tangible Spirit: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
The Arts Center in Orange, The Morin Gallery
Address: 129 East Main Street, Orange, VA
Dates: February 10 – March 29, 2019
Tangible Spirit was an exhibition of 35 works of art from the PFF Collection that span a broad history of time and talent. Each artist was inspired from the lived they lvied and now live. Each life is or was a complex amalgam of intangible sensibilities and experiences. These experiences were the generative catalyst for their art; the tangible, irrepressible spirit of Americans of African descent. The overlay between language and mentality here is very tangible. Historically, America omitted African Americans from cultural worth and for scores of decades, fully human status. As a result, we occupy an ephemeral domain in American culture. We are still omitted in many ways. It still is not wholly accepted that we are the dominant cultural component of the dynamic tapestry that is the post-European American experience. We are seen and unseen. We are perpetual spirit.
Ain’t I America: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
Hampton University Museum
Address: 14 Frissell Avenue, Hampton, VA 23668
Dates: January 25 – May 14, 2019
Ain’t I America: Selections from The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art is presented by the Hampton University Museum in recognition of the statewide American Evolution: Virginia to America, 1619-2019 Commemoration and the City of Hampton’s Commemoration of the 1619 Arrival of Africans to Point Comfort near present day Fort Monroe. To mark this occasion, 29 African-American artists, and 40 objects from the PFF Collection are presented in various media.
The exhibition title recalls the well-known 1851 “Ain’t I A Woman” speech by Sojourner Truth where the now revered abolitionist resorts to the vernacular to question slavery in America. “Ain’t I America” focuses on six themes (African American Women & The Spirit of Indomitability; All Men Are Created Equal; Race & Society – Then & Now; African-American Spirituality & Introspection; African-American Labor & Innovation; African American Music, Dance & Folkways – Then and Now) that include works portraying the myriad ways Blacks represent ‘America’ from their earliest arrival to today. Contemporary issues of identity and race, as well as, historic categories of folkways and spirituality appear throughout the exhibition. The Hampton University Museum has collected, exhibited and preserved African, African-American and American Indian art and artifacts throughout its 150-year history. The Petrucci Family Foundation of African American Art, founded in 2006, aligns well with this long standing Hampton University Museum mission in its quest to “bring focus to the full range of African American visual creativity and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art.” — John S. Welch Guest Curator
Exhibition Link: home.hamptonu.edu/msm/2019/05/11/collection-four/
Portland Art Museum
Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Dates: January 28 – Jun 18, 2017
In 21st-century America, questions of race and identity are being explored as never before. This exploration has prompted many artists of color to investigate what constitutes identity, community, and the idea of a so-called post-racial society. Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art brings together paintings, sculpture, prints, and drawings by prominent contemporary African-American artists along with a selection of historical works from the 1930s, 1940s, and Civil Rights era.Drawing from the Petrucci Family Foundation collection, Constructing Identity features works by more than 80 artists, including Henry Ossawa Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Faith Ringgold, Radcliffe Bailey, Kara Walker, and Mickalene Thomas as well as John Biggers, Barbara Bullock, David Driskell, Joyce Scott, and Sonya Clark, among others. The exhibition brings awareness to the contributions of artists of color, whose work is often historically underrepresented in museums and galleries, to foster a more complete understanding. Constructing Identity includes works by 11 artists whose artwork is also held in the collection of the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., as well as Northwest artists such as Portland painter Arvie Smith (whose own exhibition at PAM has been extended through March 12).
As part of a growing and more thoughtful dialogue about how art reflects the experiences of African Americans, Constructing Identity visually represents a cross-section of themes that speak to all of us in voices from communities of color in America.
“Historically, and within African-American communities, a central question is how do we best represent ourselves—and how do these representations come together to form an ever-changing statement of identity?” asks Berrisford Boothe, curator for the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African-American Art. “We offer this art to present a more complete and informed view of African Americans as a people and reveal the dynamic nature, narratives, and impulses that constitute our full humanity.”
Founded in 2006, the Petrucci Family Foundation’s aims to support education and create opportunity for Americans at every stage of and station in life. Its collection of African-American art is a targeted initiative established to focus on, collect, conserve, and exhibit an inspiring range of works, thereby confirming African-American art’s essential place in the history and discourse of American art. The collection celebrates the beauty, compassion, strength, and persistent will within the culture of African Americans. “We want to collect master works that define humanity, that show characters in their full, most authentic human moments,” Boothe says.
Constructing Identity is accompanied by a catalog, an artist panel discussion and artist talks on February 11, and additional programs and community partnerships.
Organized by Portland Art Museum and guest curated by Berrisford Boothe, Professor of Art at Lehigh University.
Exhibition Link: http://portlandartmuseum.org/exhibitions/constructing-identity/
Body and Soul: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art
William Paterson University Galleries, Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts
Address: 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ 07470
Dates: April 12 – May 15, 2015
Body and Soul: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art features paintings, drawings, gouaches, prints, and mixed media artworks by Benny Andrews, Sam Gilliam, Faith Ringgold, and Kara Walker, among others. Dating from the late 19th century to the present day, the 37 artworks reveal significant contributions to aspects of social realism, abstraction, and contemporary art. A number of works relate to the Black Arts Movement, an artistic development in the 1960s and 1970s informed by the civil rights struggle and the investigation of African American cultural and historical experiences.
This exhibition illuminates the full range of African American visual creativity and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art through artworks from late 19th century to present day.
Exhibition Link: www.wpunj.edu/coac/gallery/Exhibitions/exhibition-detail.html?id=abc8c8ee-efa9-4e91-8aae-6b6788efb663
As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Address: 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Dates: February 5 – March 22, 2015
The As We See It exhibit provides a unique perspective on the works of African American masters such as Henry O. Tanner, Barbara Bullock, and Dawoud Bey by placing works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art in conversation with the artwork of local youth. The show fulfills the collection’s vision of using African American art to inspire and enlighten young people. Over 100 students from Philadelphia and the surrounding region referenced artwork from the collection to explore how color, light, and composition can be employed to convey their ideas and emotions. Led by artist Richard J. Watson, whose work is included in the collection, the “Explorations in Creativity” workshops inspired the work of the youths included in the exhibit. The exhibit included interactive stations where visitors engaged in their own art-making based on exhibit themes. Videos of the artists in the collection provided insights on the production process, and artist Richard J.
Exhibition Link: https://www.aampmuseum.org/past-exhibits.html
Identities: African-American Art from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection
Gettysburg College, Schmucker Gallery
Address: 300 North Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Dates: January 23 – March 7, 2015
At the Symposium, lectures by Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, Graduate Dean Emerita and Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at Maryland Institute College of Art, and Dr. Nashid Madyun, Director, Hampton University Museum will take place. Moderated by Berrisford Booth, Associate Professor of Art, Lehigh University.
The selected works of art from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection examine African and African-American cultures and identities through varied representations of the human figure. The exhibition consists of prints, paintings, drawings, and sculpture from prominent contemporary artists including Faith Ringgold, Kara Walker, Jacob Lawrence, and Alison Saar as well as significant artists from the 1930s, 1940s, and through the Civil Rights Era, such as Hughie Lee-Smith, John Biggers and Hale Woodruff. While many of the works are extraordinarily personal, expressive portraits, other subjects address issues of labor and leisure, religion and spirituality, the civil rights struggle, and the African Diaspora. The artists in this exhibition reflect diverse stylistic influences and re-appropriate visual motifs not only to denounce centuries of oppression and confront the legacy of slavery but also to celebrate multifaceted cultures and their own diverse identities. Additionally, they use the figure and unique faces to explore beauty, humanity, compassion, and strength within a fraught, but resonant past. An accompanying exhibition catalog and didactic wall labels written by students in Professor Shannon Egan’s “Art and Public Policy” course will provide insight into the artistic, social, and contextual factors that shaped each work of art.
Exhibition Link: www.gettysburg.edu/offices/schmucker-art-gallery/exhibitions/?seasondisplay=s2015