The Getty to Start a Research Center for African-American Art

LOS ANGELES — African-American art history resources could be described as something of a diaspora: Early letters by an important artist might be held at one university, her most prominent exhibition materials filed away at a museum, and notebooks and sketchbooks still stashed away in the artist’s studio. Today the Getty Research Institute is announcing a new program to help bring the pieces together: The African American Art History Initiative.

At its heart are plans for the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the academic branch of the J. Paul Getty Trust, to strengthen its African-American holdings through key archival acquisitions, and it has begun by collecting the papers of the pioneering assemblage artist Betye Saar, who lives in the city.

Kellie Jones, a Columbia University art…

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