4 years ago1,000+ Views
Did you know actor/comedian Bill Cosby is one of the most well-known fine art enthusiasts in the United States? I remember when I was first studying 19th and 20th century American art, I was really surprised to learn that the 1894 piece "The Thankful Poor" by Henry Ossawa Tanner was one among many in his private collection. In fact, he is even an honorary Doctor in the Fine Arts through the University of Southern California! For the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art's 50th birthday, Cosby and his wife Camille are loaning out their art collection to share with museum goers for a limited time - a collection that they have spent over 40 years curating together! The collection includes works by such leading African-American artists as Beauford Delaney, Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence, Augusta Savage and Henry Ossawa Tanner. The Cosby collection of more than 300 African-American paintings, prints, sculptures and drawings has never been loaned or seen publicly. "The exhibition will encourage all of us to draw from the creativity that is Africa, to recognize the shared history that inextricably links Africa and the African diaspora and to seek the common threads that weave our stories together," announced Museum Director Johnnetta Betsch Cole. The opening reception and 50th anniversary celebration will be on November 7th and will feature live performances from soul singer Jill Scott and other surprise guests. Painting 1: "Portrait of Bill and Camille Cosby" (1984) by Simmie Knox (1935–) Painting 2: "The Thankful Poor" (1894) by Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937) Painting 3: "Boy and the Candle" (1943) by Gerard Sekoto (1913–1993)
I dont think I'll make it to the exhibit but hopefully we will get to hear about just what the collection holds from those that do go! Its sure to be a stunning list.
This is wonderful! It's funny that I just made a card about him a few days ago, but I'm so glad he's sharing the collection it's really extraordinary!
I had no idea Cosby collected art. I doubt I will make my way to the Smithsonian, but I am glad that others will be able to view these pieces.
@danidee same, I've never seen the collection, and hearing him speak would be incredible I'm sure. Too bad it's so far away.
@pixiedust I saw it not too soon after I posted this! I really wish i was living on the east coast. It would have been awesome to see exactly which pieces caught his eye through the years. I think he's speaking at the opening reception too!