History Refused to Die-Alabama's
African-American Self-Taught Artists in Context
March 14 - May 31, 2015
Introductory wall panel text from the exhibition
- The fifteen artists whose works are included in this
exhibition are all Alabamians who live, or lived, here in the state. Not
formally trained as artists, and therefore sometimes referred to as "self-taught,"
their works transcend the labels that have been applied to them. It is
not conventional art, and the artists did not use traditional art materials.
This work possesses its own vocabulary; it has its own distinctive voice,
and tells a powerful story of the lives, history, and culture of African-Americans
in Alabama in the twentieth century.
- As modern Americans, our understanding of "art"
is largely dependent on historical and cultural precedents that have shaped
our perceptions -- art is what we see in galleries, rather than around
us in our day-to-day lives. It is "art" when someone who knows
about art tells us it is. These objects arose outside of the system of
schools, galleries and museums, and they were made for reasons that are
as distinctive and individual as the makers themselves. However, like every
visual artist, they wanted, and needed, to communicate -- to make tangible
their expressions of personal and cultural history, their community, their
place in Alabama and in the larger the world.
- As we move along in time and enter a new century, we
begin to see the critical mass of these works converge and emerge. Their
relevance to the larger art and culture of twentieth-century America is
only beginning to be appreciated and understood, but inevitably these works
of art, and the artists who made them, are becoming part of the larger
fabric of the history of art.
- History Refused to Die is
organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in conjunction with Souls
Grown Deep Foundation, and Tinwood, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia. Sponsorship
for the exhibition and education programming was provided by Regions Bank
and The Central Alabama Community Foundation. Additional funding has been
provided by the Alabama Humanities Foundation and Harmon, Dennis, Bradshaw.
A related exhibition is on view at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center
in Mobile, Alabama from March 14, 2015 through December 20, 2015.
Return to History Refused
to Die-Alabama's African-American Self-Taught Artists in Context
Visit the Table
of Contents for Resource Library for thousands
of articles and essays on American art.
Copyright 2015 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights