National Gallery of Art Acquires 40 Works by African American Artists from Souls Grown Deep Foundation

By Editorial Team on January 12, 2021

On December 28, 2020, The National Gallery of Art announced a major acquisition of 40 works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation by 21 African American artists from the southern United States.

Mary Lee Bendolph, Blocks and Strips, 2002, wool, cotton, and corduroy, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund and Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, 2020.28.1 © 2017 Mary Lee Bendolph / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The acquisition is made possible through the generosity of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in addition to funds from the Patrons’ Permanent Fund. Some highlights of this important acquisition are nine quilts by the artists of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, including Mary Lee Bendolph and Irene Williams; three paintings, three drawings, and one sculpture by Thornton Dial; works on paper by Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Georgia Speller, and “Prophet” Royal Robertson; four sculpted heads by James “Son Ford” Thomas; and three sculptures by Lonnie Holley. The Gallery joins other prominent museums that have acquired works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation since 2014, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Phillips Collection.

Source: National Gallery of Art 12/28/2020 press release.