Organized by The Michigan Chapter of the National Conference of Artists, Art of the Masters: A Survey of African American Images is presented in accordance with the mission and traditions of the NCA — to introduce the works of African American “Master” artists to the world. Included are works of art created by those who made significant contributions to the discipline from 1980-2000.
While the exhibition covers a twenty-year period, many of the artists enjoyed long careers that spanned from the 1930s, during the black cultural renaissance period, into the final two decades of the twentieth century. Featured, for example, are extraordinary images by black renaissance artists Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, as well as stunning works by artists that immediately followed in their footsteps such as John Biggers and Elizabeth Catlett. Spectacular creations by Detroit area artists Alvin Loving, Jon Onye Lockard, Shirley Woodson, Raymond Wells, Aaron Ibn Pori-Pitts, Marian Stephens, and Hugh Grannum, ensures that art enthusiasts, collectors, and art professionals will experience an array of work created by artists of African heritage. To document this event, the exhibition has a companion catalog, which can be purchased in the Charles H. Wright Museum Store.
The National Conference of Artists and the Charles H. Wright Museum are grateful to the lenders to the exhibition. NCA also thanks the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs for funding the catalog.