Fisk University’s Van Vechten Art Gallery hosted an opening for its new show, African Modernism In America, 1947-67.

Guests enjoyed refreshments in a white tent outside the gallery as they discussed the impressive presentation, which was organized by Fisk University Galleries and the American Federation of Arts.

It is the first major traveling exhibition to examine the complex connections between modern African artists and American patrons, artists and cultural organizations amid the interlocking histories of civil rights, decolonization and the Cold War. 

The show will remain at Fisk until Feb. 11, 2023 and then it will travel to several other galleries around the country through 2024.

The exhibition is drawn primarily from Fisk’s notable collection of gifts from the Harmon Foundation, a leading American organization devoted to the support and promotion of African and African American artists.

It features more than seventy artworks by fifty artists that exemplify the relationships between the new art which emerged in Africa during the 1950s and 1960s and American art and cultural politics. 

The inventive and irrefutably contemporary nature of these artists’ paintings, sculptures, and works on paper defied typical Western narratives about African art being isolated to a primitive past, and their presentation in the United States rooted their work in the present for American audiences.

Fisk University is the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville. The Van Vechten Art Gallery is located at 1000 17th Ave North, Nashville, TN, 37208 and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

For more information, call 615-329-8720 or visit [email protected].