By Special to the Daily World
Clark Atlanta University (CAU) Art Galleries unveiled its new catalogue, “In the Eye of the Muses: Selections from the Clark Atlanta University Art Collection,” on Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m. in Davage Auditorium in Haven-Warren Hall, on James P. Brawley Drive, S.W. Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., was the guest speaker, with a reception afterward in the Art Galleries in Trevor Arnett Hall. “Great Art Collections At Our HBCU’s: To Whom Do They Belong?” was her topic.
Cole assumed her position at the Smithsonian in 2009, after a stellar career in higher education, including serving as president of Spelman College and Bennett College. CAU President Carlton E. Brown said, “We are very excited that the unveiling of this catalogue commemorates the 70th anniversary of CAU’s historic permanent collection and the 60th anniversary of the unveiling of our ‘The Art of the Negro’ mural series. This jewel of artwork is attributed to the vision and creativity of artist and teacher Hale Aspacio Woodruff, and we are grateful for his legacy.”
The catalogue includes a historical overview of the permanent collection, noted for its inception during segregation and providing a national forum for African-American artists. The book also includes an essay by Atlanta art critic Jerry Cullum on the suite of murals that Hale Woodruff (1900-1980) executed and features 190 plates of works by renowned and obscure artists of all ethnicities. Another entry is the correspondence between Romare Bearden and the university administration, debating the efficacy of sponsoring an “all-Negro” national juried exhibition. Tina M. Dunkley is director of the Art Galleries at CAU.