Clark Atlanta University Learn Lead Change


Art Galleries
Trevor Arnett Hall, 2nd Level
(404) 880-6102/6644 - (404) 880-6968 (fax)
Tuesday - Friday, 11:00am - 4:00pm


Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries (CAUAG) possesses a permanent collection of some 640 works of art in three major categories:

Contemporary American
African American

The three collections include paintings, murals, sculpture, works on paper and ethnographical artifacts acquired through annual purchases and donations. Of the three collection categories, the largest and most historically significant is the African American. It comprises some 950 works of art spanning seven decades (1914-1998). The renowned collection is rivaled only by the art collections at Hampton University in Virginia and Howard University in Washington, D.C. Significant works in the collection include Henry O. Tanner's Disciples Healing the Sick , Snow Morning by Romare Bearden, Brownstones by Jacob Lawrence, and the Art of the Negro mural series by Hale Woodruff.

CAU's tradition in fostering the arts began in 1942 when exhibition opportunities for artists of color were limited due to segregation. Then Atlanta University, under the direction of Hale Woodruff (1900-1980) inaugurated the annual "Exhibition of Paintings, Prints and Sculpture by Negro Artists of America" to provide black artists a national forum to exhibit their work. Over the course of three decades the juried exhibitions presented to the American public over 900 artists from across the country. Each year an average of 12 pieces were purchased for the University collections. In this way, works by artists who were virtually unknown to the mainstream art world, but later hailed as masters (i.e., Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles White, John Biggers, Lois Mailou Jones and Roy DeCarava) entered the university collection. By the close of the annuals in 1970, the University had acquired 291 pieces by 155 artists.Over the years, the university has received numerous gifts from such generous benefactors as Chauncey and Catherine Waddell, Judge Irvin C. Mollison, James Baldwin, Richard Long, the Harmon Foundation, Louisa and Matilda Cartledge, Judith Alexander and many others. Their contributions have augmented the collection to include works by Beauford Delaney, Romare Bearden, John Marin, Isabel Bishop, Charles Dawson, William H. Johnson, Kapo, Nellie MaeRowe, Sam Gilliam, Radcliffe Bailey and Larry Walker. The African art collection acquired from several donors is comprised of 348 pieces of varying aesthetic value, and characterized as a study collection.

Felrath Hines
Intermission, 1989
Frederick Flemister
Man with a Brush, c.1940

Lois Mailou Jones
Impasse de l'Oratiore Grasse, 1950
Rose Piper
Grievin' Hearted, 1948

William Artis
A Mother's Love, 1963
Sheila Pree Bright
Plastic Bodies Series, 2004

Roy DeCarava
Pickets, 1946

John Wilson
Negro Woman, 1952

William H. Johnson
Farewell, 1969
Radcliffe Bailey
Collaboration w/Curtis Patterson
Date of Arrival, 1998

Henry O. Tanner
Disciples Healing the Sick, 1924
Romare Bearden
Snow Morning, 1959

Jacob Lawrence

Playland, 1948

Elizabeth Catlett
Negro Woman, 1952