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March Issue 2007

Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC, Offers Exhibit for Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, The Mint Museums, in Charlotte, NC, will present a distinguished selection of artworks from local NBA Charlotte Bobcats majority owner Robert L. (Bob) Johnson's Barnett Aden Collection. Thirteen pieces from the collection will be on view at the Mint Museum of Art through Mar. 11, 2007.

In 1998, Johnson purchased the Barnett Aden Collection from the Florida Endowment Fund for Higher Education. The collection is one of the oldest and finest collections of its kind and includes works by noted African American artists Henry O. Tanner, Romare Bearden and Lois Mailou Jones.

The Barnett Aden Collection was the creation of two extraordinary African American art professionals, Alonzo J. Aden (1905-1961) and James V. Herring (1887-1969) at the gallery they founded in 1943. The Barnett Aden Gallery opened at 127 Randolph Place, Washington, DC, to provide a location where artists of all races, gender and creeds could display their works of art, but more importantly a place where, in a segregated community, African American artists could show their work in a professional setting to educate and inspire the public who came to see the art. The Barnett Aden Gallery was the first and most significant private gallery of African American art to be created in Washington, DC, and the collection assembled by its founders is of major importance to the history of African American art in the twentieth century.

The artists whose works comprise the Collection include many of the major African American painters, sculptors and printmakers of the mid-20th century. The survival of the Barnett Aden Collection is in itself remarkable. After the founders' deaths, the Collection eventually was acquired by the Florida Education Fund of Tampa, FL, to be utilized as the nucleus of a museum of African American art. At present, the Barnett Aden Collection is composed of over 160 objects (or groups of art objects) which include African American artists and a small group by American artists of European descent.

Artworks selected to be on view at the Mint include: three linocuts on paper from Elizabeth Catlett; John Biggers' Sharecroppers; Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr.'s The Twins; May Howard Johnson's Slave Boy; William Henry Johnson's Going to Church; Jacob Armstead Lawrence, Jr.'s Blind Flower Vendor; Johnson N. Robinson's Self-Portrait of a Young Man with a Mirror; John N. Robinson's First Gallery; Henry O. Tanner's Flight into Egypt; and Laura Wheeler Waring's Little Brown Girl.

"We are pleased to share this great collection with The Mint Museums' audience to enjoy at a time when our nation pauses to reflect on the contributions that African-Americans have made to our society throughout generations" stated Bob Johnson, "I am happy to make this art available to the people in Charlotte."

Johnson is also the Founder and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET); and the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies which owns or holds majority interests in a diverse portfolio of companies in the financial services/asset management, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, and gaming industries. An innovative business network, The RLJ Companies seeks to target undiscovered or underserved markets, then exercise solid management and achieve exceptional results. RLJ is located in Bethesda, MD, and currently has operations in New York and Los Angeles.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 704/337-2000 or visit (www.mintmuseum.org).


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