Soon after its founding in 2010, Souls Grown Deep began a multi-year program to transfer the majority of works in its care to the permanent collections of leading American and international art museums. To date, this program has led to the acquisition of over 500 works by 110 artists from the its collection by over 40 museums, including:

  • Indianapolis Museum of Art (2011)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2014)
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (2017)
  • Ackland Art Museum (2017)
  • High Museum of Art (2017)
  • New Orleans Museum of Art (2017)
  • Brooklyn Museum (2018)
  • Dallas Museum of Art (2018)
  • The Morgan Library & Museum (2018)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2018)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art (2018)
  • Spelman College Museum of Fine Art (2018)
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2018)
  • Clark Atlanta University Art Museum (2019)
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art (2019)
  • Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (2019)
  • The Phillips Collection (2019)
  • Asheville Art Museum (2019)
  • Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington (2019)
  • Toledo Museum of Art (2019)
  • Baltimore Museum of Art (2020)
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem (2020)
  • National Gallery of Art (2020)
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2021)
  • The Legacy Museum (2021)
  • Currier Museum of Art (2021)
  • Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas, Austin (2021)
  • Hampton University Museum (2021)
  • Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (2021)
  • Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2021)
  • Princeton University Art Museum (2021)
  • RISD Museum (2021)
  • Des Moines Art Center (2022)
  • Glenstone (2022)
  • John Michael Kohler Arts Center (2022)
  • Pinault Collection (2022)
  • National Gallery of Victoria (2022)
  • Tate Modern (2022)
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales (2023)



Exhibitions of acquisitions from the Souls Grown Deep Collection include Revelations: Art from the African American South at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Souls Grown Deep: Artists from the African American South at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.



The Souls Grown Deep Collection contains nearly 1,000 works by more than 160 artists from the African American South, two-thirds of whom are women. Ranging from large-scale assemblages to works on paper, the Foundation is particularly strong in works dating from the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the end of the twentieth century. The roots of these works can be traced to slave cemeteries and secluded woods. Following the Civil War, when the southern agrarian economy collapsed, and rural African American sharecroppers and tenant farmers were forced to migrate for survival to major population centers—particularly in and around Birmingham, Alabama, where iron and steel production created jobs—a new and more public language of quilts, funerary, and yard arts arose. Beyond painting, sculpture, assemblage, drawing, and textile-making, this tradition also included music, dance, oral literature, informal theater, culinary arts, and more. Much like jazz musicians, the artists of this tradition reflect the rich, symbolic world of the black rural South through highly charged works that address a wide range of revelatory social and political subjects.