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Arts & Culture

SAMA's 'Collects' a treasure trove of lesser-known African-American artists

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Jacob Lawrence, Street Scene, 1937 (detail). From the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

An historic moment was chronicled by Robert Sengstacke, perhaps the leading recorder of the Civil Rights era. Mrs. King Leads the Memphis Sanitation March, 1968, was taken days after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The photograph shows Coretta Scott King with her two young sons alongside black leaders Harry Bellafonte and Andrew Young. Jumping to 1987, Benny Andrews' collage work The Funeral looks back to that time in the '60s. It shows the horse and caisson in MLK's funeral procession. The artist has torn out parts of a news photograph, and painted over the scene in bright colors, emphasizing hope for the future in the memory of tragedy.

In all, the 26 works on view survey a broad spectrum of styles and moods, and include works by major and less well-known artists. This is not an exhaustive survey, nor does it display works by recent art superstars like Faith Ringgold, Kara Walker, or Kehinde Wiley. But it presents a seldom known, but crucial, American history. That you can see it here is a treasure. •

San Antonio Collects: African American Artists

10am-9pm Tue, Fri, Sat
10am-5pm Wed-Thu
noon-6pm Sun
San Antonio Museum of Art
200 W Jones
(210) 978-8100
On view to May 6

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