Beyond the Blues Opens to the Public

The exhibition Beyond the Blues: Reflections of African America in the Fine Arts Collection of the Amistad Research Center is now open to the public at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). With over 150 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper representing over 125 years of artistic endeavors, the exhibition highlights not only the contributions of African American artists, but works that reflect the African American experience, as well. Over 300 guests previewed the show on April 10th, and an introductory lecture by artist and scholar David C. Driskell was presented during opening day.

Works by Richmond Barthe and William Artis on display in Beyond the Blues.

Conceived of not simply as an exhibition of artworks, but as an educational forum, a full slate of lectures and public events, as well as school tours, will accompany the show while at the Museum. A calendar of events and information on tours can be found on the Beyond the Blues website. Amsitad staff will be posting photos of these various events on the Center’s Facebook page and this blog throughout the duration of the exhibition, which runs through July 11.

Accompanying the exhibition is a catalog (shown on the right) that documents not only the show, but the majority of Amistad’s fine arts collection. Featuring Elizabeth Catlett’s color lithograph, Blues, as the cover illustration, the catalog’s foreword by David C. Driskell and essays by exhibition curator Margaret Rose Vendyres and scholars Lowery Stokes Sims, Michael D. Harris, and Renee Ater make the catalog an essential tool  for art scholars and a pleasurable read for all art lovers. The catalog is available from NOMA’s Museum Shop or directly from the Amistad Research Center. More information is available by calling (504) 862-3222 or emailing

Complementing Beyond the Blues is a related exhibition entitled Creative Circles: Exploring Community in African American Art, which is on display in Amistad’s own exhibition gallery. Drawing from the papers of artists Elizabeth Catlett, Hale Woodruff, John T. Scott, and William Pajaud, as well as other sources, this exhibition provides a more intimate understanding of the interconnected lives and careers of some of the artists represented in Beyond the BluesCreative Circles will be on display through June 30.

Amistad invites everyone to visit the Center and NOMA to partake of these wonderful exhibitions and to share them with family and friends.

Posted by Christopher Harter

(From the Amistad Research Center. Images may not be reproduced without permission.)


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