Black History Month and Artstor
Last year, we marked Black History month with a summary of some of the excellent resources on Black History available in the Artstor Digital Library, including many collections that cover African art and culture. This year, we expand the list to include a variety of additional resources that focus on the lives and achievements of African Americans in particular.
Panos Pictures The independent photo agency specializes in documentary images of critical social issues, including thousands of images from the United States, many of them tackling issues affecting the lives of African Americans.
Milton Rogovin: Social Documentary Photographs Rogovin began his first photographic series in 1958 documenting African-American store front churches in Buffalo, NY, and would go on to record many other topics surrounding the black community.
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (Scripps College) The Gallery includes the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, which has a special focus on art by women and African-Americans, including Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Faith Ringgold, and Alison Saar.
Romare Bearden Foundation Artstor includes nearly 1,000 images of Bearden’s work. These works represent the breadth of Bearden’s enormous output, from his early paintings executed in a range of styles to his pioneering collage work, which highlights his unique combination of painting and collage materials drawn from popular sources. Throughout, Bearden’s art displays his deep engagement with the African American community and the Civil Rights movement.
Mott-Warsh Collection With over 200 images of work by artists of the African Diaspora focusing on art produced after 1940, the Mott-Warsh Collection contains work by more than 125 artists working in a range of styles and media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed-media, and sculpture. The Collection includes major figures and underrepresented artists alike, such as Jacob Lawrence, Ron Adams, Faith Ringgold, Richard Yarde, Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Howardena Pindell, and Whitfield Lovell.
Jacob Lawrence became a household name after “The Migration of the Negro,” a series 60 small paintings about the passage of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North, was reproduced in Fortune magazine in 1941. Lawrence saw the series as a single work, but the year after he completed the series, the Museum of Modern Art bought the even-numbered pictures and The Phillips Gallery in Washington bought the others. Thanks to our partnership with both museums, ARTstor users can see the whole oeuvre in the Digital Library; simply do a search for Jacob Lawrence Migration.
For more teaching ideas, visit the Digital Library and click on “Teaching Resources,” where you can search for image groups that include Interdisciplinary Topics: African and African-American Studies, as well as a case study, “Sweet Fortunes: Sugar, Race, Art and Patronage in the Americas” by Katherine E. Manthorne, The City University of New York. Also, visit ARTstor’s Subject Guides page to download the African and African-American Studies Subject Guide. You may also want to read our post about Martin Luther King, Jr.