Gifts feature Artworks in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
by Roz Edward
In a move to demand equity in the business of Art for Black people, Renowned International Artist Steve R. Allen is gifting select HBCU’s coveted pieces of Art featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of a multimillion-dollar gifting initiative.
Born in a one-room shack in North Carolina and without any formal art training, Mr. Allen served as the official artist for eight Olympic Games. Five of Mr. Allen’s artworks hang in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture Founding and Permanent Collection in Washington, D.C. His extensive body of work has taken him all over the world and stimulated international dialogue about the significance of art on social justice.
Throughout his career, Mr. Allen has noted the lack of representation on the business side of art as it relates to high end auction houses and mind-boggling private banking transactions that value artworks as tradeable assets. His HBCU gifting initiative serves as social commentary on the financial value of Black art in American culture and is a demand for equity amongst Black people in the business of art.
“This gift, along with those that follow, aligns with my mission to expose the variety of visual contributions of African American artists to students, scholars and collectors and, moreover, to demand equity for my brothers and sisters in the business of art. My intention is to strengthen the position of Black institutions as innovative places for teaching art and revealing its power and financial value,” says Allen. “I cannot think of a better way to honor my mother, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Bowden Allen Johnson, an alumna of Shaw University, and brother Arthur Lee Allen’s, legacies than by providing Black and other audiences around the country with access to these artworks.”
The Atlanta University Center in Atlanta, Georgia (which includes Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, ITC Interdenominational Theological Center), Florida A&M (Tallahassee, FL), and Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL), are the initial recipients of the coveted Art and will host formal receptions to mark the occasion in 2022.
A celebrated and internationally renowned artist, Mr. Steve R. Allen was the official artist for eight Olympic games and has five artworks featured in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture Founding and Permanent Collection. Mr. Allen’s papers were acquired by Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library alongside other luminaries including Langston Hughes, Alice Walker and Josephine Baker. Mr. Allen’s artworks have been acquired by private collectors around the world.
For further information on Mr. Allen and his artworks, contact Seanne N. Murray at email@example.com.