She Knew Where She Was Going: Gee's Bend Quilts and Civil Rights

She Knew Where She Was Going: Gee's Bend Quilts and Civil Rights

Baltimore Museum of Art
March 10, 2021 to August 1, 2021

Gee’s Bend, Alabama, is home to generations of extraordinary Black craftswomen whose quilts represent a crucial chapter in the history of American Art. Since the early 1800s, women of Gee’s Bend have transformed worn clothes, sacks, and other fabric remnants into patterns that surpass the boundaries of the genre. Born out of necessity, the quilts provided warmth for family and friends while bearing witness to shared knowledge passed down among quilting groups and female lineages.

In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art

In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art
December 12, 2020 to December 5, 2021

In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art” brings together methods of visual storytelling and ancestral memory through the individual practices of artists from the “Black Belt” region of the American South—a term that refers to the region’s black soil, as well as the le

Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change

Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change

Toledo Museum of Art
November 21, 2020 to February 14, 2021

Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change brings historical and contemporary works together in critical dialogue to consider how quilts have been used to voice opinions, raise awareness, and enact social reform in the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Untitled, 2020. Three Perspectives on the Art of the Present

Untitled, 2020. Three Perspectives on the Art of the Present

Pinault Collection: Punta della Dogana
July 11, 2020 to December 13, 2020

Punta della Dogana presents the exhibition ‘Untitled, 2020. Three perspectives on the art of the present’, conceived and curated by Caroline Bourgeois, Muna El Fituri and the artist Thomas Houseago.

Trip to the Mountaintop: Recent Acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Trip to the Mountaintop: Recent Acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Toledo Museum of Art
April 4, 2020 to July 5, 2020

The Toledo Museum of Art will feature 10 newly acquired works in the free exhibition, Trip to the Mountaintop: Recent Acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from April 4 to July 5, 2020, in the New Media Gallery. The Souls Grown Deep Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the work of African American artists from the South and their cultural traditions.

We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South

We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South

Turner Contemporary
February 7, 2020 to September 6, 2020

We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South is the first exhibition of its kind in the UK and reveals a little-known history shaped by the Civil Rights period in the 1950s and 60s. It will bring together sculptural assemblages, paintings and quilts by more than 20 African American artists from Alabama and surrounding states.

Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection

Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection

Brooklyn Museum
January 24, 2020 to September 13, 2020

Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection presents artworks that defy conventional museum display and collecting frameworks. By featuring works that have routinely been seen as “out of place” in major museums—because of the artist’s identity or their unorthodox approach to materials and subjects—the exhibition examines how artists can transform long-held cultural assumptions.

The Life and Death of Charles Williams

The Life and Death of Charles Williams

Atlanta Contemporary
January 23, 2020 to April 19, 2020

Charles Williams (1942-1998) was born in Blue Diamond, Kentucky, a place he described as a “little old country hick town in coal mining territory, eight miles from Hazard, Kentucky, back up in the hollow where the blacks lived.” As a child, Williams taught himself to draw by copying comic book figures like Superman, Dick Tracy, and Captain Marvel but never finished high school.

Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South

Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South

Philadelphia Museum of Art
June 8, 2019 to September 2, 2019

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South, an exhibition including paintings, sculptures, and quilts that celebrates the recent acquisition of 24 works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation.

Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South

Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
June 8, 2019 to November 17, 2019

As embodiments of the African American experience and cultural legacies, the works of art featured in Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South are rooted in African aesthetic legacies, familial tradition, and communal ethos. Previously marginalized as “folk or self-taught” art, they now take their rightful place as significant contributors to the canon of American Modernism.

History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift

History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
May 22 - September 23, 2018

This exhibition will present 30 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and quilts by self-taught contemporary African American artists to celebrate the 2014 gift to The Metropolitan Museum of Art of works of art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation.

Outliers and American Vanguard Art

Outliers and American Vanguard Art

National Gallery of Art
January 28, 2018 to May 13, 2018

Self-taught artists—variously termed folk, primitive, visionary, naïve, and outsider—have played a significant role in the history of modernism, yet their contributions have been largely disregarded or forgotten. Again and again in the United States during the past century, vanguard artists found affinities and inspiration in the work of their untutored, marginalized peers and became staunch advocates, embracing them as fellow artists.

Revelations: Art from the African American South

Revelations: Art from the African American South

de Young Museum
June 3, 2017 to April 1, 2018

"Revelations: Art from the African American South" celebrates the debut of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco major acquisition from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta of 62 works by contemporary African American artists from the Southern United States.

Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art

Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
September 1, 2016 to January 8, 2017
The Nasher Museum presented "Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art," which questioned and explored the complex and contested space of the American South. One needs to look no further than literature, cuisine and music to see evidence of the South’s profound influence on American culture, and consequently much of the world.
Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett

Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett

American Folk Art Museum
June 21 - September 18, 2016
Organized by the Ackland Art Museum, "Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett" is a groundbreaking retrospective of a passionately inspired and little-understood figure in twentieth-century American art. The first solo exhibition of Ronald Lockett’s art, "Fever Within" emphasizes the powerful themes the artist explored over the course of his career through about 50 of his works of art.
Something to Take My Place: The Art of Lonnie Holley

Something to Take My Place: The Art of Lonnie Holley

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
August 22, 2015 to October 10, 2015
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art has organized a multi-faceted showcase of American artist and musician Lonnie Holley. The exhibition will feature a selection of 40 works on loan from the artist, collector William Arnett, and the Atlanta-based Souls Grown Deep Foundation.
James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues

James 'Son Ford' Thomas: The Devil and His Blues

80 Washington Square East Gallery, NYC
June 9 - August 7, 2015
Taking its title from folklorist William Ferris’s seminal text on Thomas’s work, "The Devil and His Blues" will be the first major institutional solo presentation of James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas’s sculpture to take place since the artist’s death in 1993. The exhibition will include 100 of his unfired clay objects.
When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South

When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South

The Studio Museum in Harlem
March 27, 2014 to June 29, 2014

"When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South" queries the category of “outsider” art in relation to contemporary art and black life. With the majority of work having been made between 1964 and 2014, the exhibition brings together a group of thirty-five intergenerational American artists who share an interest in the U.S. South as a location both real and imagined.

Creation Story: Gee's Bend Quilts and the Art of Thornton Dial

Creation Story: Gee's Bend Quilts and the Art of Thornton Dial

Frist Center for the Visual Arts
May 25 - September 2, 2012

This exhibition explores parallels and intersections in the works of the world-famous Gee’s Bend quilters and the master of assemblage art, Thornton Dial. Quilts made by the women of Gee’s Bend feature a sophisticated orchestration of color and eccentric quasi-geometric shapes composing what the New York Times has said are “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.”

Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper

Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper

Ackland Art Museum
March 30 – July 1, 2012
One of America’s most remarkable living artists, Thornton Dial is widely recognized for his large-scale, multimedia assemblages, yet his most abundant body of work is his drawings, which he began producing in the early 1990s. Organized by the Ackland Art Museum, "Thornton Dial: Thoughts on Paper" will feature 50 of Dial’s earliest drawings from 1990-1991, a pivotal moment in his artistic career.
Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Indianapolis Museum of Art
February 25 - September 18, 2011

"Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial" highlights the artist’s significant contribution to the field of American art and shows how Dial’s work speaks to the most pressing issues of our time—including the war in Iraq, 9/11, and social issues like racism and homelessness. The exhibition presents 70 of Dial’s large-scale paintings, drawings and found-object sculptures, including 25 works on view for the first time.

Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond

Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond

Museum of International Folk Art
November 16, 2007 – May 11, 2008
This exhibition puts the Gee’s Bend quilts in context by featuring the work of master quilt maker Mary Lee Bendolph and those she influenced, accompanied by the art of artists working in the found-object tradition who are part of her artistic sphere, including Thornton Dial and Lonnie Holley.
Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt

Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
June 4 – September 4, 2006

"Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt" features seventy spectacular quilts made by four generations of women in Gee's Bend, a small, isolated African American community in southwest Alabama. With bold improvisation of traditional quilt motifs, these women have created a style all their own. Made between the 1930s and the present, the Gee's Bend quilts’ bright patterns, inventive color combinations, lively irregularities and unexpected compositional variations make them outstanding examples of modern art.

Thornton Dial in the 21st Century

Thornton Dial in the 21st Century

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
September 25, 2005 - January 8, 2006
This groundbreaking exhibition follows the artist’s exploration of interlined topics, including a halting suite of works about 9/11; contemporary "history paintings" on life in America since the events of 9/11; homages to his friends, the women quilt makers of Gee’s Bend, Ala.; memories of vanishing ways of life and his childhood in the the South; and evocations of human struggles for freedom.
The Quilts of Gee's Bend

The Quilts of Gee's Bend

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
September 6 – November 10, 2002

"The Quilts of Gee’s Bend" celebrates the artistic legacy of four generations of African-American women from a small, historically all-black community in rural southern Alabama. This exhibition of over sixty extraordinary quilts that were made between 1930 and 2000 showcases a body of work that is bold, spirited, moving, and hailed by Michael Kimmelman, in The New York Times, as “some of the most miraculous works of art America has produced.”

Thornton Dial: Remembering The Road

Thornton Dial: Remembering The Road

Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University
June 29, 1996 to October 15, 1996

Thornton Dial: Remembering the Road features 75 relief paintings works on paper and sculptures created by Alabama artist Thornton Dial over the last decade.

Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South

Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South

Michael C. Carlos Museum at City Hall East
June 29 - November 3, 1996
"Souls Grown Deep: African-American Vernacular Art of the South," a groundbreaking exhibition of over 450 artworks by some 30 contemporary artists, highlighting a significant artistic tradition that has risen in concert with the Civil Rights Movement. This exhibition presents an art form that is universal in its appeal and currency yet highly individuated in its origins within the African-American South.
Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger

Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger

New Museum / American Folk Art Museum
November 17, 1993 - January 2, 1994

"Thornton Dial: Image of the Tiger" was the first major solo museum exhibition of the 65-year-old African American painter. Organized by guest curator, Thomas McEvilley, this exhibition was presented at both The New Museum and the American Folk Art Museum. It included approximately twenty paintings at each venue, along with works on paper from 1988-1993.