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Samella Lewis

Artist 192

Samella Lewis

The Godmother of African American Art

Printmaker and Painter

Samella Sanders Lewis (born 1924) is an African-American artist, who specializes in printmaking and painting. She has doctorate in Art and is also a published author, art historian and educator.

New Orleans-based printmaker Samella Lewis has played an important role in the collection and curation of African-American art.

She was a professor at Scripps College and founded the Museum of African American Arts in 1976, receiving numerous awards for her work and leadership.

Dr Lewis' work in the 1960s–1970s reflected a collection of lithographs, linocuts, and serigraphs, reflected humanity and freedom.

Between 1969-70, Lewis and E.J. Montgomery were consultants for a "ground breaking" exhibition creating awareness to the history of African American history and art.

Dr Lewis is the founder of the International Review of African American Art in 1975. In 1976, she founded the Museum of African-American Art with a group of artistic, academic, business and community leaders in Los Angeles, California.

These founders had similar goals including increasing the public's awareness of African American art.

Samella Lewis, as the staff's senior curator in the museum, not only organized great numbers of exhibitions but also developed diverse ways of educating the public on African American arts. In an article, she discussed the ideas of "art of tradition", and argued that museums had the responsibility to explore the African roots of African American art.

It’s amazing how she stood up for the proper documentation, treatment and investing in African American Art.

Sources Consulted…/african-american-femal…/betye-saar…/dr-samella-lewis-the-godmo…/


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