Thornton Dial, Sr., The Old Water, 2004. Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio/Art Resource (AR), New York. Courtesy: Estate of Thornton Dial/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Receives Twenty-Four Artworks from Souls Grown Deep Foundation

The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that it has acquired twenty-four works of art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. The donation comprises works by African American artists from the southeastern United States, including three major works by Thornton Dial, an iron and steelworker, carpenter, and painter; two assemblages by Lonnie Holley and Ronald Lockett; and fifteen quilts by several generations of women from Gee’s Bend, Alabama that date from 1930 to 2005. 

“The museum has a longstanding commitment to acquiring works by artists out of the mainstream, but the collection has been insufficiently represented by the works of African American artists working in a visual tradition that is unique to the Southeast,” Timothy Rub, the museum’s director and CEO, said. “Now we can present a much more comprehensive picture of the diversity of artistic expression in the post-Civil Rights era.” This particular foundation has been the source for several recent major acquisitions by institutions around the country, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.