Silver Linings: Celebrating the Spelman Art Collection

Silver Linings: Celebrating the Spelman Art Collection uplifts the legacy of artists of African descent spanning the twentieth century through the contemporary moment who were overlooked by mainstream art museums.

Committed Available from Fall 2023 on

Exhibition Images

  • Carrie Mae Weems Color Real and Imagined 2014 Archival inkjet print with silkscreen color blocks 54 ¾ x 38 ¾ inches Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Gift of Laurel Shackelford Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

    Carrie Mae Weems, Color Real and Imagined, 2014, Archival inkjet print with silkscreen color blocks, 54 ¾ x 38 ¾ inches. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Gift of Laurel Shackelford. Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

  • Emma Amos, 2/4 Time, 1984, Mixed media 37 x 47 inches. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Spelman College Purchase Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

    Emma Amos, 2/4 Time, 1984, Mixed media, 37 x 47 inches. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Spelman College Purchase. Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

  • Romare Bearden, Early Morning, 1964, Mixed media collage, 20 x 24 ½ inches, College Museum of Fine Art. Gift of Catherine and Chauncey Waddell. Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

    Romare Bearden, Early Morning, 1964, Mixed media collage, 20 x 24 ½ inches, College Museum of Fine Art. Gift of Catherine and Chauncey Waddell. Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

  • Betty Blayton Vibes Penetrated 1983 Acrylic on canvas 60 ¾ inches diameter Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Spelman College Purchase Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

    Betty Blayton, Vibes Penetrated, 1983, Acrylic on canvas, 60 ¾ inches diameter. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Spelman College Purchase. Photo courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

  • Henry Ossawa Tanner Christ and His Disciples Before the Last Supper 1908-1909 Oil on canvas 36 ½ x 30 ⅛. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Gift of Catherine and Chauncey Waddell. Courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

    Henry Ossawa Tanner, Christ and His Disciples Before the Last Supper, 1908-1909, Oil on canvas, 36 ½ x 30 ⅛. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Gift of Catherine and Chauncey Waddell. Courtesy Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

About the Exhibition

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art was founded in 1996 and the mission is to uplift art by and about women of the African diaspora. After two years of closure, the Spelman Museum reopened with a permanent collection exhibition marking its 25th anniversary, Silver Linings: Celebrating the Spelman Art Collection. The exhibition was on view at Spelman March 1 – June 30, 2022.

Silver Linings celebrates the legacy of artists of African descent spanning the twentieth century through the contemporary moment. It includes Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Christ and His Disciples Before the Last Supper (1908 – 1909) and the museum’s recent most acquisition of Carrie Mae Weems’s Color Real and Imagined (2014). Silver Linings includes an array of media spanning sculptural works by Elizabeth Catlett and Selma Burke, and photographic works by Lorna Simpson and Renée Cox. It also displays the museum’s holdings of abstract paintings by Sam Gilliam and Betty Blayton, as well as works on paper by Samella Lewis and Herman “Kofi” Bailey. This exhibition is critical to understanding the importance of art collecting within Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and includes work by Black artists across genders who were overlooked by mainstream art museums.

Silver Linings features approximately 40 works by Amalia Amaki, Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, Firelei Báez, Herman “Kofi” Bailey, Romare Bearden, Betty Blayton, Beverly Buchanan, Selma Burke, Elizabeth Catlett, Floyd Coleman, Renée Cox, Myra Greene, Sam Gilliam, Samella Lewis, Glenn Ligon, Howardena Pindell, Lucille Malkia Roberts, Deborah Roberts, Faith Ringgold, Nellie Mae Rowe, Lorna Simpson, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Lina Iris Viktor, Carrie Mae Weems, and Hale Woodruff.

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