Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cummer Museum exhibiting African American historical artifacts

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to announce the recognition of its current exhibition, LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience by the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC).  Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience: The LIFT exhibition is on view NOW until February 12, 2017, coinciding with the birthday of James Weldon Johnson and the first singing of the song Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.  This new Smithsonian museum opened on September 24, 2016 in Washington, D.C. and was a historic event in itself.  As the 19th Smithsonian museum and the newest, it is a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what this experience means to their lives, and how the experience helped to shape this nation.

As part of the NMAAHC opening celebrations, organizations from around the country were invited to participate in their Lift Every Voice campaign and submit for consideration events and programs that fit the theme of celebrating African American history and culture. The Cummer Museum submitted LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience and its related programming for consideration, and was recently informed that our exhibition and programs have been accepted. The Museum is honored by this opportunity to showcase the work we are doing to highlight the African American contribution to the American story through co-branded events with the NMAAHC.

About the NMAAHC: The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. The NMAAHC in Washington, D.C. is the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

About LIFT: The exhibition has been co-curated by the Cummer Museum and the Ritz Theatre & Museum, and presents area contemporary artists’ responses to Jacksonville’s rich artistic African American heritage, with an emphasis on creating an artful platform to discuss issues around race, equity, and community. Using the original lyrics to Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, a song written by Jacksonville natives James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson in 1900 for a celebration of Lincoln’s birthday, artists Thony Aiuppy, Glendia Cooper, Ingrid Damiani, Overstreet Ducasse, Dustin Harewood, Marsha Hatcher, Hiromi Moneyhun, Princess Rashid, Chip Southworth, and Roosevelt Watson III created pieces that present their views about the complex history of race relations in Jacksonville and beyond. From literal interpretations of the lyrics to more abstract emotional responses, these new works inspire, challenge, confront, and uplift, providing a contemporary view to the words and social relevance of the Johnson brothers’ masterpiece.  LIFT is a Cultural Fusion: Lift Every Voice event.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
Dates: NOW through February 12, 2017
  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857
  Hours of Operation & Admission

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