In the Presence of Our Ancestors at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minneapolis, MN

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is a must see. It was my second visit and you could honestly spend days there. I’ll break up my visit into several posts in order to share some highlights.

Upon entering the museum there was a special exhibition In the Presence of Our Ancestors. I really liked a few of the pieces.

Thornton Dial, Royal Flag, 1997-98
American flag, toy doll, toy bull, string, fabric, industrial sealing compound, oil, enamel, spray paint on canvas mounted on wood.

“In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art” brings together methods of visual storytelling and ancestral memory through the individual practices of artists from the “Black Belt” region of the American South—a term that refers to the region’s black soil, as well as the legacies of African Americans who shaped its social and agrarian culture. Spanning from Louisiana to Florida, and the mid-20th century to the present, the artists highlighted in this exhibition document rural life and traditions of metalwork, funerary and yard art, and quilt making. Here, we witness an evolution of regional artistic practice, as raw materials and found objects related to time, place, and accessibility take center stage. “ (Minneapolis Institute of Art)

These artworks are sometimes called “folk” or “vernacular,” and the artists who made them labeled “self-taught.” (Minneapolis Institute of Art)

Jesse Aaron, Shark, c. 1970
Wood, shark’s jaws, toy doll, plastic rattle, plastic eyes, nails, electric cable
Eldren M. Bailey, Spider Lady, c. 1960s
Paint, wood, and wood putty on wood with painted wood frame
Lottie Mooney, “Housetop” – Four -Block “Half-Log Cabin” Variation, c. 1940 Cotton and rayon
Prophet Royal Robertson, Visions of Times, 1985
Marker, ballpoint pen, and paint on posterboard
Georgia Speller, Two Cousins, 1987
Paint and pencil on paper
Ronald Lockett, April Nineteeth (The Number), 1995
Metal, paint, wood, Splash Zone compound (mastic epoxy)

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