Date: June 16, 1999
Contact: Alicia MacLeay
Phone: (207) 872-3220
"It's a marvelous opportunity to have David Driskell, one of the world's leading authorities on African-American art, show his personal collection at our museum," said Hugh Gourley, director of the Colby Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. "Narratives of African-American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection," an exhibit that documents the contributions made by African Americans to the nation's cultural landscape, will be on display from July 21 to October 17 at the Colby Museum of Art.
The 100 works in this exhibition come from Driskell's own 450-piece collection, acquired during his half-century career as a teacher, scholar and visual artist. The collection, considered among the finest private African-American art collections in the world, includes paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures.
"Narratives of African-American Art and Identity" is divided into sections that reflect the thematic development of African-American art. The show documents African-American art's gradual growth, beginning with the initial recognition of African-American artists in the late 19th century and developing to a political and social head in the 1960s and '70s. Examples of the maturation of black art through the mid-1990s complete the exhibit. Artists represented include: James VanDerZee, Henry O. Tanner, Robert Duncanson, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, James Porter, Charles White, Robert Colescott and others.
Driskell has helped many institutions and individuals assemble collections of African-American art. In 1997 Driskell was primarily responsible for purchasing the first work by a black artist for the White House art collection. He curates the William and Camille O. Cosby Collection, arguably the best and largest private collection of African-American art.
"Narratives of African-American Art and Identity" is currently on exhibit at the African-American Museum in Dallas, Texas. "Echoes," a 34-piece exhibit of Driskell's own wide-ranging work, will be on display August 11 to October 17 at the Colby Museum of Art. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The public is invited, and admission is free. The museum is accessible to people with disabilities. For additional information, call 872-3228.