On view through September 2 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South, celebrating the recent acquisition of 24 works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Featuring a captivating range of quilts, found object sculptures and paintings, it is a testament to the skills, inventiveness and resourcefulness of these 20th century southeastern African-American artists.
The quilt featured above, Blocks, Strips, Strings and Half Squares, was fashioned from discarded fabrics in 2005 by Mary Lee Bendolph, a prominent member of the Alabama-based Gee’s Bend Collective. Several more artworks I captured on my recent visit to the exhibition follow:
The late Thornton Dial, The Last Day of Martin Luther King,1992, Mixed media
The late Delia Bennett, Housetop: Fractured Medallion Variation Quilt, c. 1955, cotton, rayon and synthetic
The late Magalene Wilson, One Patch Quilt, c.1950, Cotton, wool, synthetic, corduroy and seersucker
The late Hawkins Bolden, Untitled, c. 1985, Mixed media
The late Annie E. Petway, Flying Geese Variation Quilt, c. 1935, Pieced cotton and wool
Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South can be viewed through September 2 in the Perelman Building — at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Fairmount Avenues — a short walk from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s main building. For hours and directions, check here.
Photos of artworks by Lois Stavsky