Hampton University Museum, with the help of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will bring more recent African American pieces to the forefront.
The Hampton University Museum along with The Chrysler Museum of Art have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the foundation to collaborate on various art works, particularly works by African American artists.
Mellon Foundation grants are highly competitive, in that applications are accepted by invitation only. The grant will fund a three-year fellowship program designed to create opportunities for aspiring museum professionals of color.
Hampton University Museum’s Director Dr. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward said the grant provides for two master’s graduate students to work alongside her to bring together a collection, conserve the works and research the art pieces.
The art was a gift from the Harmon collection. The collection is different from other works in the museum because it is not traditional African American art.
“These pieces were created more recently, in the 1960s. They consist of paintings and sculpture,” she said.
Once ready for display, the pieces will be able to travel to other museums, be on display at the Chrysler Museum of Art and at Hampton University for special exhibits, she said.
The collaboration also includes Dr. Kimberli Gant, Ph.D., the Chrysler Museum’s McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, to help diversify the museum’s collection.
The team will write about their work and research in Hampton University’s International Review of African American Art once complete.
While the Hampton University Museum is currently closed due to the pandemic, the works can be viewed online at https://home.hamptonu.edu/msm/.