About This Exhibition
"The principal themes which connect and shape our collection are faith, family, and African-American history and culture."
– Patrick Diamond
A Creative Journey: The Collection of Judy and Patrick Diamond began during a year-long residence in East Africa when the couple were fresh out of graduate school and has continued throughout their life together. Their metaphorical journey reflects the geographic journey of their lives from Boston, where they met, to stops in Tanzania, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Chicago, Charlotte and Atlanta.
"We began collecting out of a desire to learn more about the many significant contributions which have been made to American culture by artists of African-American descent. Equally important was our interest in providing our son with an introduction to the importance and richness of our African-American heritage. When I was a child growing up in South Carolina, black people were not allowed admission to the City’s art museum. Consequently, I was an adult before my first visit to a museum. We wanted our child to have a different experience, and for our home to further enhance his introduction to the visual arts and history."
The quality of their collection, built with passion and an astute eye, has allowed them to gift works to various arts institutions. Among the 20th Century African-American artists collected, we can find works by Romare Bearden, Margaret Burroughs, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Richard Hunt, Hale Woodruff, Sam Gilliam, along with 19th Century and early 20th Century icon Henry O. Tanner, as well as younger artists like Radcliffe Bailey and Cedric Smith.
- Benny Andrews (1930 - 2006)
- Radcliffe Bailey (b. 1968)
- Romare Bearden (1911 - 1988)
- Tarleton Blackwell (b. 1956)
- Margaret T. Burroughs (1917 - 2010)
- Sam Gilliam (b. 1933)
- Richard Hunt (b. 1935)
- Jacob Lawrence (1917 - 2002)
- Hughie Lee-Smith (1915 - 1999)
- Juan Logan (b. 1946)
- Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (b. 1951)
- Ben Parrish
- Cedric Smith (b. 1970)
- Henry O. Tanner (1859 - 1937)
- Cheryl Warrick (b. 1956)
- Charles White (1918 - 1979)
- Hale Woodruff (1900 - 1980)
- Richard Yarde (b. 1939)
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Dr. Michael D. Harris is an artist, scholar, curator and professor presently teaching at Emory University in Atlanta. As a scholar, Harris has published Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation (2003) and has contributed to or co-authored a number of other publications. He has had articles on contemporary African art and African-American art published in a number of books and journals.
Harris is among the few African-American scholars to hold terminal degrees in studio art, African-American Studies and in art history. Also a practicing artist, Harris has been a member of the artist collective AfriCOBRA, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, since 1979 and has exhibited across the United States, in the Caribbean, and in Europe. His work is represented in the collections of Morehouse College, Howard University, University of North Carolina, the City of Atlanta, the Hampton University Museum, Dillard University, the David Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at University of Alabama, the Atlanta airport and in many private collections. Dr. Harris earned his BA in Education at Bowling Green State University; MFA in Painting, Howard University; MA in African-American Studies, Yale; MA, MPhil, and Ph.D. in History of Art from Yale University.
Image credits: Richard Yarde, Heel and Toe (Savoy Series), Courtesy of Judy and Patrick Diamond