News & Events

March 18, 2020

Edward Hopper’s East Wind Over Weehawken (1934) was once one of just two paintings by the American realist in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)’s collection. So in 2013, when the museum announced that it would sell the quiet streetscape to create an endowment fund, criticism followed. But what was then labeled by some as a “deplorable deaccession” was actually a measure to rectify institutional biases. The museum has since used proceeds from that $36-million sale to enrich its collections, with half of the draw going towards contemporary acquisitions, and the rest split evenly between modern and historic acquisitions. The priority, according to director Brooke Davis Anderson, was and continues to be on collecting artists who have historically been marginalized. “We are trying to build a collection that tells a truthful history of American art,” Anderson said.

March 18, 2020

The first exhibition in the UK to show art shaped by the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s opened last month at Turner Contemporary in the seaside town of Margate. It is due to run until May so hopefully there will still be an opportunity to see this inspirational exhibition. We Will Walk - Art and Resistance in the American South brings together civil rights photography, sculptures, paintings and installations by more than twenty African American artists from the Deep South, many of which have never been seen in Europe until now. The exhibition shows us the influence these artists had, and continue to have, on American culture, art that in the words of writer James Baldwin “illuminates the darkness.”

March 13, 2020

Over the years I must have been to dozens of exhibitions on black liberation. Some in Britain, some in Australia, some in the US and one in South Africa which had me in tears when I saw on display a “Free Mandela” sticker that I had designed for the Young Communist League in London in the 1960s. They were all about the politics and the campaigning but, this spring, the Turner Contemporary Gallery on Margate’s traditional seafront has an amazing exhibition that looks at this subject from a totally unique point of view. The exhibition looks at the way the various arts have reflected the amazing struggle of black people in the US’s southern states, particularly in the battle for civil rights.