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Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art

November 2, 2003 through February 15, 2004


Featuring a selection of more than 45 works, the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) is the opening venue for a nationwide tour of Grant Hill's personal art collection - Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art - from November 2, 2003 through February 15, 2004.

Inspired by his parents' art collection, Grant Hill began collecting art in 1995. Well-known sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett is an artist whom Hill greatly admires and he has collected her work in depth. Eleven sculptures by Catlett, ranging in date from the late 1970s to 2001, are included in the exhibition, as well as a group of her prints from the 1990s. Hill has also collected work by the preeminent artist Romare Bearden, which span the artist's entire career. More than a dozen examples of Bearden's collages, paintings and mixed-media works are included in the exhibition. Other artists featured in the exhibition include John Biggers, Hughie Lee-Smith, Malcolm Brown, Phoebe Beasley and John Coleman. A 20-minute video featuring Hill and a conversation between Elizabeth Catlett and Hill's family accompanies the exhibition. (left: Romare Bearden, Serenade,1941, gouache/caesin on Kraft paper, 30.5 x 47 inches, Grant Hill Art Collection)

According to Hill, "This exhibition tour is a unique vehicle that will both educate the general public and inspire our youth."

"This is the first time that a major American athlete has exhibited nationally a personal collection of art of this magnitude," says Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, guest curator of the exhibition and director of the University Museum at Texas Southern University in Houston. "Developed by Grant over the past eight years, the exhibition exemplifies Grant's desire to encourage young people to accomplish major goals in their lives." (left; Hughie Lee-Smith, The Dreamer, 1999, oil on linen, 9 x 16 inches, Grant Hill Art Collection)

Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art will travel to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the University Museum at Texas Southern University in Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and other selected institutions across the country.


About the Collector

Born in 1972 in Dallas, Texas, most people know Grant Hill as a two-time NCAA champion, six-time NBA All-Star, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1994, Olympic Gold Medalist winner in 1996 and Orlando Magic basketball star. At 6 feet 8 inches, Hill is equally adept at point guard, shooting guard, or small forward. However, his accomplishments don't stop there. Off the court, he is humble and a true believer in community investment. Hill was recognized for his tremendous community service when he was awarded the 2001 Richard and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award. He and his wife, Tamia, have donated millions of dollars to dozens of organizations including $1 million to Duke University and $50,000 to benefit Child Abuse Prevention. In 2000, Hill was named among 99 professional athletes as one of the "Good Guys in Sports" by The Sporting News, which recognizes athletes for outstanding character and exemplary civic responsibility. Like his father, Calvin, who was an All Pro running back with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s, Hill developed a love for art, and is dedicated to sharing his personal collection with the community. (right: John Thomas Biggers, The Upper Room, 1984, mul.ti-colored lithograph, 36 x 22 inches, Grant Hill Art Collection)



An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Published by Duke University Press, it includes contributions by Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, adjunct associate professor in African-American studies at Yale University, who discusses Romare Bearden; Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, director, Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College, who focuses on Elizabeth Catlett; and Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, director of the University Museum of Texas Southern University, who provides an essay on the history of African-American art collections. Dr. Wardlaw is the guest curator for the exhibition. Introductory statements by Grant Hill and his father Calvin Hill, as well as remarks by Professor John Hope Franklin, Duke Coach Michae Krzyzewski and William C. Rhoden, sports columnist for The New York Times, are featured in the catalogue.

This exhibition is organized by Grant Hill and is sponsored by (in alphabetical order) Cooper Carry, Inc., Design Specification, Devos Foundation, Ecological Resource Consultants, Frank Herring, Inland Real Estate Acquisitions, Morris Architects, Patrick Hodges Landscape Architecture, and Reeta Casey.


About the Curator

Alvia J. Wardlaw is the curator of the exhibit, Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art. Ms. Wardlaw grew up in the historic neighborhood of Third Ward in Houston, Texas. After graduating from Jack Yates High School she attended Wellesley College where she earned a B.A. in art history in 1969.

A string of exhibitions and publications followed for venues throughout the country: including African Tribal Art, the Menu Foundation, 1973; Roy DeCarava: Photographs, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1975; Ceremonies and Visions: The Art of John Biggers, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas, 1980; Homecoming. African American Family History in Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, 1982; John Biggers: Bridges, California Museum of African American Life and Culture, Los Angeles, California, 1986. Ms. Wardlaw was awarded the M.A. in art history from The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Institute of Fine Arts in 1986.

It was 1989 when Ms. Wardlaw was recognized as one of the leading African-American art historians in the country when she was co-curator with Barry Gaither and Dr. Regena Perry of the watershed exhibition Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art for the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas. The catalogue for this exhibition has become widely used in the art curriculums of colleges and universities in the United States. In 1995 Ms. Wardlaw organized The Art of John Biggers: View from the Upper Room for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which traveled nationally to seven venues. In 1996 Wardlaw became the first African American to receive the Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation focused on the art of John Biggers.

The list of honors and awards bestowed on Dr. Wardlaw include: Fulbright Fellow, West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal, 1984; Best Exhibition of 1990 for Black Art Ancestral Legacy, D Magazine, Dallas, Texas; the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, 1994; a Fulbright Award for study in Tanzania, East Africa, July 1997. Senior Fellow, American Leadership Forum, 2001.

Dr. Wardlaw is Associate Professor of Art History at Texas Southern University and Director/Curator of the University Museum at Texas Southern University. She serves as Curator of Contemporary and Modern Art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and is currently organizing an exhibition of the art of Kermit Oliver as well as an exhibition surveying the quilting tradition of African American women in Gees Bend, Alabama.

rev. 10/27/03, 8/10/04

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