Tate Modern And Other International Institutions Acquire Artworks from Souls Grown Deep Collection For The First Time

Tate Modern And Other International Institutions Acquire Artworks from Souls Grown Deep Collection For The First Time

On Monday, Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership announced that Tate Modern in London, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Pinault Collection in Paris and Venice will acquire artworks from its collection. This marks the first time that works from the collection will be acquired internationally.

Questlove wears Gee’s Bend design during Oscar win for ‘Summer of Soul’

Questlove wears Gee’s Bend design during Oscar win for ‘Summer of Soul’

When Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for “Summer of Soul,” his film about the Harlem Cultural Festival -- the 1969 historical celebration of Black history, culture and fashion in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park -- he accepted the award wearing a jacket with panels designed and hand-sewn by the Quilters of Gee’s Bend.

The work of Black fiber artists highlights the ties between land ownership, generational wealth, and self-determination

The work of Black fiber artists highlights the ties between land ownership, generational wealth, and self-determination

Mainstream narratives about the U.S. tend to portray Black American history exclusively as a struggle against oppression and enslavement, presenting Black people as lacking any agency over their own lives. However, Black historians and cultural advocates are resisting the flattening and erasure of Black history through the preservation of Black agrarian culture, in which Black-owned land and agro-cultural farming practices are a source of freedom, pride, and belonging.

Famed Gee’s Bend Quilters are now on the runway and online

Famed Gee’s Bend Quilters are now on the runway and online

A blockbuster exhibition in the early 2000s made the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, famous for their visually stunning quilts. But the success didn’t translate into meaningful economic gains for their isolated community. Now, new opportunities are helping change that. With support from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, the quilters now have sold-out Etsy shops and collaborations with high-profile fashion designers. 

The Heart Has Its Own Intelligence: Legacies of the Gee’s Bend Quilters

The Heart Has Its Own Intelligence: Legacies of the Gee’s Bend Quilters

Gee’s Bend—or Boykin, as it was officially renamed in 1949—sits at a hairpin turn along the Alabama River in the heart of the state’s Black Belt, a region that was named for its rich topsoil and that remains inextricably intertwined with histories of enslavement, dispossession, and civil rights organizing. Gee’s Bend is small, a hamlet, really; its inhabitants, many of whom are descended from Africans enslaved on Joseph Gee’s cotton plantation in the early 19th century, number fewer than 300 people today. But the community’s cultural footprint, in contrast to its population, is massive: Gee’s Bend is the birthplace of the most significant intergenerational quilting tradition in the history of the United States and is now also acknowledged as one of the most important sites of 20th century American abstraction.

‘Beauty Without Bias’ At The Toledo Museum Of Art

‘Beauty Without Bias’ At The Toledo Museum Of Art

Beauty without bias can be seen at TMA in 24 artworks from Black makers across the Deep South through May 1, 2022, during its exhibition “Living Legacies: Art of the African American South.” Each piece has been acquired by TMA in the past two years from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the artistic production and cultural traditions of Black artists from the rural South. 

The Subversive Power of Quilts: Legacy Russell on ‘The New Bend’

The Subversive Power of Quilts: Legacy Russell on ‘The New Bend’

The New Bend, curated by Legacy Russell and currently on view at Hauser and Wirth, New York, looks at the raced, classed and gendered traditions of quilting and textile through the work of 12 contemporary artists. Its title is an explicit reference and homage to the quilters of Gee’s Bend, a Black women’s cooperative set up on a former slave-owning plantation in Alabama and which, since the 1960s, have become known for their intergenerational quilting practices and their striking, modernist compositions. Borne out of a necessity to recycle scraps of fabric, the quilts have in recent years garnered institutional attention, including a major retrospective at New York’s Whitney Museum in 2002, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend.

The Gift of Humanity in Bessie Harvey’s Art, An Interview with Faye Harvey Dean

The Gift of Humanity in Bessie Harvey’s Art, An Interview with Faye Harvey Dean

Born in 1929, the Black autodidact sculptor Bessie Harvey created mixed-media assemblages from materials located in the woods surrounding her home in Alcoa, Tennessee. Harvey, who died in 1994, was guided largely through life by the teachings of the Bible. Her keen wit and unorthodox perspectives on her faith granted her access to sidestep dogma and dare to stand in undeviating opposition to the congregation as she contemplated racism and religion. The collective wisdom that she acquired through the diasporic Black American experience of womanhood, and of living within systems of racial segregation and associated economic retribution, informed her survival in an unconcerned white supremacist climate and also allowed her to recall her value and humanity, which she poured into her art.

Gee’s Bend Quilts: Objects of Cultural Identity in the American South

Gee’s Bend Quilts: Objects of Cultural Identity in the American South

Quilting, or the stitching together of various layers of textiles and padding, is a creative process that dates back thousands of years. While the practical purpose of quilting is to provide warmth and protection, quilts throughout history have typically included decorative elements regardless of their necessity. Among the most recognizable and beloved blankets in the world are those made by the Gee’s Bend quilters, a collective of Black women in the American South who have been quilting for several generations. Explore the rich history, community traditions, and distinctive craftsmanship that is thoughtfully and expertly stitched into each one of the Gee’s Bend quilts.

Leading Contemporary Artists Pay Homage to the Pioneering Quilters of Gee’s Bend

Leading Contemporary Artists Pay Homage to the Pioneering Quilters of Gee’s Bend

For centuries, craftspeople have joined fibers and fabrics to tell tales about time, color, and space. Though textiles and quilts have often been associated with domesticity, they can be more than gorgeous practical items. These pieces have long been recognized for their aesthetic value, and in recent years, art-world aficionados have increasingly taken notice.