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.
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.
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