The works in the exhibition represent only a small portion of the Lockes’ collection, which exceeds 1100 pieces, and reflects the couple’s desire to collect the best and most promising artists.
Curated by Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph.D. and Shirley Woodson-Reid, the show features works by 19th-century artists including Henry Ossawa Tanner, Robert S. Duncanson and Grafton Tyler Brown. Master artists from the Harlem Renaissance include Aaron Douglas, Palmer Hayden, William H. Johnson and Jacob Lawrence.
Building on that tradition are works from artistssuch as Benny Andrews, Gwendolyn Knight, Faith Ringgold, and Richard Hunt. And, reflecting the Lockes’ move toward collecting contemporary are, are pieces by Betye Saar, Hughie Lee-Smith and James Phillips.
Swann’s Director of African-American Fine Art, Nigel Freeman, sits on the advisory board of The Hampton University Museum–the oldest African American museum in the United States.