African American Masters: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
October 1 - November 28, 2004

Long Beach Museum of Art
2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90803
Contact: Cari Marshall, Manager of P.R. & Marketing
(562) 439-2119 ext. 229
E-mail, <>
Web site, <>

(l.) William H. Johnson, Café (detail), ca. 1939-1940, oil on paperboard, 36 1/2 x 28 3/8 in. Gift of the Harmon Foundation.
(c.) Jules Allen, Untitled NYC (125th Street), 1992, gelatin silver print. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase.
(r.) Romare Bearden, Empress of the Blues, 1974, acrylic and pencil on paper and printed paper on paperboard.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in part through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment.

Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Museum of Art presents African American Masters: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, featuring over sixty paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The Long Beach Museum of Art is the only west coast venue for this exhibition, offering Southern California audiences a rare opportunity to see many of the finest works produced in the 20th century by African American artists.

This exhibition will be on view at the Long Beach Museum of Art from October 1 through November 28, 2004. Opening day is Free Friday – the galleries are free to the public all day – and the opening also coincides with “October is Arts Month” in Long Beach.

The artists featured in African American Masters demonstrate their awareness of mainstream artistic traditions while exploring their dual cultural heritage. “The exhibition celebrates the broad variety of styles, artistic approaches and perspectives that characterize the work of twentieth-century African Americans, from the realist paintings of Hughie Lee-Smith and John Biggers to the vibrant abstractions of Sam Gilliam and Alma Thomas,” said Long Beach Museum of Art Director Harold Nelson. “The exhibition, furthermore, provides a context within which work by African American artists in the Long Beach Museum of Art’s own collection might be better understood and enjoyed by our diverse local and regional audiences.”

Featuring work in a broad variety of media, African American Masters includes paintings by Beauford Delaney, Palmer Hayden, William H. Johnson, Horace Pippin, and Henry Ossawa Tanner; sculpture by William Artis, Richmond Barthé, Melvin Edwards, Sargent Johnson, and Augusta Savage; photographs by Roy DeCarava, Roland L. Freeman, Earlie Hudnall, Jr., Gordon Parks, and James VanDerZee; and works on paper by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence.

African American Masters: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum is one of five exhibitions featuring the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collections that are touring the nation through 2005. The tour is supported in part by the Smithsonian Special Exhibitions Fund. The Long Beach presentation is made possible with the support of Washington Mutual, Roberta and Matthew Jenkins, Councilwoman Laura Richardson/The City of Long Beach, McClain-Hill Associates, Los Angeles Wave Newspapers, Yellow Book USA, The Westin Long Beach and other generous sponsors.

About the Long Beach Museum of Art

Located on a magnificent bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach Museum of Art features a lively schedule of changing exhibitions, artmaking workshops for all ages, an historic mansion and carriage house, expansive galleries and gardens, a café (Craig’s at the Museum), and a popular Museum Store. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (Museum Café opens at 8 a.m.), open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays; admission is $5/adults, $4/students & seniors, free for Museum Members and children under 12, and free for everyone the first Friday of every month. For more information, call (562) 439-2119 or visit <>.

Return to Gallery Pages