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Collecting, Creating and Preserving African-American Fine Art
Free Art Talks at the Hudson River Museum

In February the Hudson River Museum launches its three-part Art Talks series devoted to collecting, creating and preserving African-American artworks. A curator, an artist, and an arts administrator bring their perspectives to artwork that ranges from painting and sculpture to mixed media. The FREE Art Talks take place Wednesdays at 6:30 pm and complement the Museum’s winter/spring exhibition The Chemistry of Color: The Sorgenti Collection of Contemporary African-American Art,* on view from February 5 to May 8.

On February 16, Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, tells how its collection of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media by African-Americans artists grew, and how private collectors, like Harold and Ann Sorgenti, help museums collect underrepresented art.  
Robson, a native of Scotland, initially trained as an artist at Bath Academy of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art in London before assuming curatorial positions in England at the universities of Sussex and Southampton. In 1998 Robson was a Guest Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

On March 24 African-American artist Howardena Pindell discusses her creative process. Pindell’s work, known for its intense political and sociological content, is based on her experiences as an artist emerging during the Civil Rights Movement. She was born in Philadelphia and earned a Masters of Fine Arts at Yale University. Since the early 1970s, she has been an activist in the art community and has written articles on issues of race, censorship, and violence. Pindell’s work is inspired by her travels to Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, Russia, and India and are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, among many others.

On April 27 Alona Wilson, Assistant Director and Curator at the Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, discusses interpreting and preserving African-American art. Wilson oversees a collection of over 7,000 objects of fine art and material culture created by or about African Americans and has written on the work of African American artists, including Richard Yarde and Charles White. She is now researching African-American art from the 1950s with a focus on artist Hughie Lee-Smith.

*The Chemistry of Color: The Sorgenti Collection of Contemporary African-American Art was organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, NY. Wed – Sun, 12-5 pm. Museum: $5 adults, $3 seniors & youth 5-16. Children under 4, free. Members Free.  Exit 9 (Executive Blvd). Saw Mill River Pkwy (north or south). Info & Dir: 914.963.4550;

The largest cultural institution in Westchester County, the Hudson River Museum is a multi-disciplinary complex that draws its identity from its site on the banks of the Hudson River, and seeks to broaden the cultural horizons of all its visitors. It engages in the presentation of exhibitions, programs, teaching initiatives, research, collection, preservation, and conservation – a wide range of activities that interpret its collections, interests and communities.




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