Dallas Museum of Art Acquires Seven Works by Thornton Dial, Ronald Lockett, Nellie Mae Rowe and Quilters of Gee's Bend From Souls Grown Deep Foundation

DMA; Brooklyn Museum; The Morgan Library & Museum;
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Acquire Work through Foundation’s Museum Transfer Program 

November 12, 2018 (Atlanta, GA and Dallas, TX) – The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has acquired seven works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation (SGDF) through its museum transfer program, which places works from the foundation’s foremost collection of artworks by artists from the African American South in esteemed institutions around the country. The DMA acquisition, a partial gift/partial purchase from the foundation, includes works by Thornton Dial, Ronald Lockett, Nellie Mae Rowe, and four quilts created by Louisiana Bendolph, Mary Lee Bendolph, Amelia Bennett, and Annie Mae Young, women of Gee’s Bend Alabama. These works will be on view at the DMA beginning in April. Dallas collector Marguerite Hoffman has purchased a second Thornton Dial painting, Two Coats, from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and has promised the work to the DMA.

“The acquisition of this important group of works advances the DMA’s commitment to engaging audiences with the spectrum of art history and reflecting a wide range of voices in both our collection and programs,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director of the DMA. “We are grateful to the Souls Grown Deep Foundation for enabling these works to join the Museum’s collection and others across the country, providing opportunities for the public and scholars to discover the work of these significant artists. Additionally, we extend deepest thanks to Marguerite Hoffman, for her continued commitment to strengthening and deepening the DMA’s collection.”

The DMA joins the Brooklyn Museum, The Morgan Library & Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in the most recent group of museums to acquire works from the Foundation. Souls Grown Deep Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, exhibiting, and promoting the work of artists from the African-American South. It holds the largest and foremost collection of works of contemporary African American artists from the Southern United States, encompassing over 1,000 works by more than 160 artists, as well as a collection of archival photographs, videos, and documents relating to the artists in the collection.

In 2014, the Foundation began to develop opportunities for major museums to add works from its collection. In the past four years, SGDF has placed more than 300 objects in twelve institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, High Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ackland Art Museum, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The fall 2018 acquisitions include a total of 51 objects by 30 primarily female artists.

“Our core mission is to advocate for artists of the African American South represented in our collection. We could not be happier to announce that five additional institutions will now have significant holdings of these artists in their permanent collections. These acquisitions will broaden the exposure of works by these important American artists among audiences around the country and provide new opportunities for exhibition, research, and other partnerships,” said Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, president of the Foundation.

Works in the DMA acquisition include:

  • Construction of the Victory (1997) by Thornton Dial (1928-2016)
  • Awakening (1996) by Ronald Lockett (1965-1998)
  • Picking Cotton by Nellie Mae Rowe (1900-1982)
  • "Housetop" medallion (2003) by Louisiana Bendolph (1960 - ); Blocks and strips (2004) by Mary Lee Bendolph (1935 - ); Bars and strips (1929) by Amelia Bennett (1914-2002); and "Yo-Yo" (c. 1971) by Annie Mae Young (1928-2013).

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than four million visitors. For more information, visit DMA.org.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

About the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

The Souls Grown Deep Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the artwork by artists from the African-American South. The Foundation was established with the largest and foremost collection of works by African-American artists from the Southern United States, which it is working to disburse into the collections of museums around the country to make the work accessible to the widest possible audience. The Foundation advances its mission by advocating the contributions of these artists in the canon of American art history, accomplished through collection transfers, scholarship, education, public programs, and publications. Through grants and other initiatives, the Foundation has also extended its mission to serve those communities that gave rise to the visual traditions of the artists represented in its collection. For more information, visit www.soulsgrowndeep.org.

Souls Grown Deep Media Contacts:

Catherine Coughlin, Resnicow and Associates, ccoughlin@resnicow.com, 212-671-5162
Maria May, Resnicow and Associates, mmay@resnicow.com, 214-207-6082

Dallas Museum of Art Media Contact:

Jill Bernstein, JBernstein@DMA.org, 214-922-1802