The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has received a $575,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support a three-year African American Collecting Initiative to bolster the papers and oral histories it has collected since its founding in 1954.
The Archives holds nearly 6,000 collections of archival material on the artists, collectors, dealers and scholars who have shaped the history of art in America. Among the thousand items in the collections are Horace Pippin’s World War I memoir, the papers of Adrian Piper, materials on Beauford Delaney from the Galerie Darthea Speyer in Paris, documentation of 400 outsider artists represented in the papers of Jimmy Hedges and the records of his Rising Fawn Folk Gallery in Chattanooga.
The grant also enables the Archives’ to create a new three-year position for a full-time African American art collector who will consult with advisors and travel the country to acquire collections, as well as paid summer internships to help digitize new acquisitions.
The Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program was established in 1982 to support efforts to advance the knowledge, understanding and experience of American art. It has distributed over $176 million to over 420 museums, universities and organizations.