Spelman Museum’s “Silver Linings” art exhibit to tour nationally, first stop Vassar

For the first time in its 27-year history, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art will tour a group exhibition of works from its collection to five institutions in the United States, beginning with Vassar College in September.

Silver Linings: Celebrating the Spelman Art Collection will feature work by almost 40 artists of African descent, spanning the 20th century and up to the present.

“Spelman’s art collection has long been regarded as a hidden gem, and we have lent individual works of art for many years,” stated Dr. Liz Andrews, executive director of the museum, in a press release. “Our hope is that this tour will raise awareness of the work we are doing in Atlanta to uplift Black women artists.”

Spelman College Museum
Dr. Liz Andrews was named executive director of the Spelman Museum in 2021. (Photo by Julie Yarbrough)

Originally curated by Andrews and curator-in-residence Karen Comer Lowe, Silver Linings premiered at Spelman Museum in March 2022 to celebrate the museum’s 25th anniversary.

The exhibit highlights Spelman’s art collection and also emphasizes the important role that historically Black colleges and universities have had in providing exhibition opportunities for Black artists.

Exhibited artists include Amalia Amaki, Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, Betty Blayton, Selma Burke, Elizabeth Catlett, Renée Cox, Sam Gilliam, Myra Greene, Faith Ringgold, Deborah Roberts, Nellie Mae Rowe and Carrie Mae Weems.

“I had the privilege of experiencing the exhibition firsthand in Atlanta,” stated Mary-Kay Lombino, deputy director and curator at Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, in a press release. “I was immediately struck by the strength and depth of the collection, as well as the organic synergies between the histories of Spelman and Vassar and the visions guiding both institutions today.”

Following its presentation at Vassar College from September 30, 2023, through January 22, 2024, Silver Linings will travel to Boise Art Museum, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida, and Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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