The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists - The New Yorker

The Met Embraces Neglected Southern Artists - The New Yorker

One afternoon last week, as pre-Thanksgiving snow whitened Central Park, Sheena Wagstaff was in her office at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she chairs the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, reflecting on a major gift that the Met had just accepted: fifty-seven paintings, drawings, mixed-media pieces, and quilts by thirty African-American artists from the South.

For Met Museum, a Major Gift of Works by African-American Artists From the South — The New York Times

For Met Museum, a Major Gift of Works by African-American Artists From the South — The New York Times

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Monday that it had received a major gift of 20th-century works by African-American artists from the South, including 10 pieces by Thornton Dial and 20 important quilts made by the Gee’s Bend quilters of Alabama.

Souls Grown Deep Foundation Donates 57 Works to Metropolitan Museum of Art

Souls Grown Deep Foundation Donates 57 Works to Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that 57 works by contemporary African American artists from the Southern United States have been donated to the Museum by the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from its William S. Arnett Collection. In addition to paintings, drawings, and mixed media works by acclaimed artists such as Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, and Nellie Mae Rowe, the major gift includes 20 important quilts dating from the 1930s to 2003 that were created by women artists based in the area around Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

Mr. Dial Has Something to Say

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This four-time Emmy-winning film follows the life of artist Thornton Dial, and Bill Arnett, an art collector who discovered him. Through their experiences it examines the issue of racism and classism in Western art, and asks the question: What is art and who decides? This film won numerous industry accolades, including 4 Emmys, a CINE Golden Eagle Special Jury Award for best arts film nationwide, and a major grant from the NEA. It appeared at numerous film festivals to standing ovations, and traveled with the United Nations International Film Festival.

Lonnie Holley, the Insider’s Outsider - The New York Times Magazine

Lonnie Holley, the Insider’s Outsider - The New York Times Magazine

One night in October, just a couple blocks from Harvard Square, a young crowd gathered at a music space called the Sinclair to catch a performance by Bill Callahan, the meticulous indie-rock lyricist who has been playing to bookish collegiate types since the early ‘90s. Callahan’s opening act, Lonnie Holley, had been playing to similar audiences for two years. A number of details about Holley made this fact surprising: He was decades older than just about everyone in the club and one of the few African-Americans. He says he grew up the seventh of 27 children in Jim Crow-era Alabama, where his schooling stopped around seventh grade. In his own, possibly unreliable telling, he says the woman who informally adopted him as an infant eventually traded him to another family for a pint of whiskey when he was 4.

Lonnie Holley's "Keeping a Record of It" Best Music of 2013 - The Washington Post

Lonnie Holley's "Keeping a Record of It" Best Music of 2013 - The Washington Post

"... a free jazz fever dream from the deep South, a babbling Baptist sermon from deep space, a lullaby for the end of the world, a songbook that’s frequently beautiful and occasionally frightening."

Don’t supposed to be dying yet: The journey of Lonnie Holley - Pitchfork

Don’t supposed to be dying yet: The journey of Lonnie Holley - Pitchfork

At the age of 63, Lonnie Holley is finally a rock star—at least for the moment. On a Thursday afternoon, he and his longtime friend, advocate and de facto tour manager Matt Arnett have stopped at the Community Grounds Café, a coffee shop in South Atlanta that doubles as a community center. They’re seeking some quiet in the mile and a half between their respective homes, and this, Arnett says, is a good place to find it. 

The Curator

al Jezeera's America Tonight examines at the work and legacy of scholar and collector William S. Arnett in Curator.

Composition in Black and White: A collector’s fight to get an untrained artist into the canon - The New Yorker

Composition in Black and White: A collector’s fight to get an untrained artist into the canon - The New Yorker

An unmarked brick warehouse on the west side of Atlanta has become the repository for some fifteen hundred works by more than a hundred African-American artists. Supervised by a seventy-four-year-old white man named Bill Arnett, it is the world’s most comprehensive collection of art made by untrained black Southerners. The warehouse, at first glance, may call to mind a salvage yard, for the artists used whatever materials were available to them: rocks, chains, clothes, rope, bedsprings, scrap metal, blood.

Scrap-Iron Elegy

Scrap-Iron Elegy

For a long time, Joe Minter managed to share a yard with his wife, Hilda, their two sons and 100,000 of their neighbors. His scruffy three-bedroom house filled up most of a small city lot, just up the hill from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. But somehow he made it work. When these souls began to cry out for their own lawn ornaments, however, he realized he would have to find more room.