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African American Art Gallery

African American art gallery is a space primarily meant for displaying visual Afro-American art consisting of mainly paintings. Along with sculptures, photographs, illustrations and other art objects are also exhibited. An African American art gallery has artworks that are permanently on display as well as those which are for temporary exhibition.

African American art is a broad term applied to the entire body of art produced by the American black community. Art produced by the black community is important, not only for its intrinsic artistic value, but also because of the important contributions it has made to American art in the face of adverse conditions, such as, racial bias of the white community.

Most people are not aware that the majority of black immigrants to America came from West Africa where artistic traditions were more developed than other parts of Africa. Westerners while tracing the roots of American art to Egypt, whence it went to Mesopotamia and Greece and finally to Rome, do not realize that Egypt itself was greatly influenced by Sub-Saharan art.

African American art had its humble beginnings in the cotton Patches of the South from where it went to the streets of Harlem giving birth in the 20s and 30s to what is now called, the Harlem renaissance. It is now considered one of the most important movements in African American art when literature, theater, dance and painting bloomed and deeply influenced America and the rest of the world.

In the 50s and 60s it was impossible to get an African American art gallery to exhibit artworks by unknown African American artists, so they sold their art directly to the public. Rediscovered in the mid-1990s, they are now recognized as an important part of American folk history. While some African American artists managed to get their works into African American art gallery, it was the civil rights movement of the 60s that led to the mushrooming of art galleries to allow these artists to express the mood of the times.

By the 80s and 90s, most major cities had museums and African American art gallery meant expressly for African American artists. The National Endowment for the Arts provided increasing support for these artists. Important collections of African American art include the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, and the David C. Driskell Art collection.

The High Museum of Art, located in Atlanta, Georgia is a leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. The High Museum has a permanent collection of more than 11,000 artworks. Included in this collection are African American art and African art.

The Peabody Essex Museum, established in 1992 by the merger of the Peabody Museum with the Essex Institute, also has significant collections of African American art.

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