Beverly Buchanan (1940–2015)

Artist Beverly Buchanan has passed away. Independent curator and critic Andy Campbell, who confirmed the news, noted that Buchanan was “an artist who was as attentive to her local communities as she was to the social and political architecture of poverty.” Though in her earlier years she received degrees in parasitology and public health from Columbia University, Buchanan decided not to go on to medical school, instead taking a class at the Art Students League in New York City that was taught by Norman Lewis.

A protégé of Romare Bearden, Buchanan went on to create drawings, prints, sculptures, and photos—most famously, perhaps, depicting “shacks” that lovingly represented the personal space and daily lives of those in poorer communities of the rural South.

Buchanan later received fellowships from both the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was also the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award, a Georgia Women in the Visual Arts award, a distinguished alumni citation award from Bennett College, and a 2002 Anonymous Was A Woman award. As Campbell remembered: “Her work handily displaces any attempts towards categorization, and perhaps this is its greatest, untapped gift.”