The purpose of the University Museum is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit, and interpret artifacts and works of traditional art which illustrate the cultures, heritages and histories of African, Native American, Oceanic and Asian peoples, as well as the works of contemporary African American, African and American Indian artists and three-dimensional objects which relate to the history and significance of Hampton University.
ADMISSION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Museum is composed of the world’s first collection of African American fine art, which began with the 1894 acquisition of two paintings by Henry O. Tanner. One of these paintings, The Banjo Lesson, is acknowledged as the most admired work by an African American artist.Hampton was the recipient of a gift of hundreds of artworks from the Harmon Foundation in 1967, which includes representation of most of the important artists from the Harlem Renaissance into the early 1960s. The museum also houses the Countee and Ida Cullen Art Collection; a group of 29 works of art acquired from the widow of the famed Harlem Renaissance poet. Among the most outstanding holdings are works by three important figures connected to the visual arts at Hampton: John T. Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, and Samella S. Lewis. In addition to the African American Fine Art Collection, the Museum features African, Native American, and the Hampton History Galleries as permanent exhibitions. To learn more, please see our Collection History!
Director’s Chat: Africa Unveiled: Art In Its Many Forms November 9, 2019 from 11:00AM – 2:00PM 11 am – 1 pm – Artist Talk and
The International Review of African American Art (IRAAA) is the ONLY periodical spanning the history of African American art and covering contemporary art, design and visual culture! Cross-disciplinary with a nexus in African American art, IRAAA deepens insight into numerous things while offering visual pleasure and stimulation. It is a window into all realms, real and imaginary; present, past and future. ART IS ALL!
IRAA was formally known as Black Art: An International Quarterly and made its debut in 1976. It was published by Samella Lewis and two associates. It included an article on Elizabeth Catlett with a four-page color pull-out reproduction of a Catlett print titled Boys. The involvement of Lewis and Catlett in this important venture was the flowering of a long association. Lewis, the first African American woman to earn a PH.D. in art history (Ohio State, 1951), had been encouraged to pursue a career in art by Catlett. Catlett was the first college art teacher of Luis and became a lifelong friend. Black Art:An International Quarterly primarily covered the visual expression of black people in the United States and Africa.
In 1984, Black Art became The International Review of African American Art (IRAAA), as the publication was broadening its focus to include the visual art of African-descended people throughout the Americas. One of the special issues produced during this period was “Bahia: The Power of Tradition.” Its focus was on the visual arts of African-descended people in Brazil. In 1992, the operations of the IRAAA were transferred to Hampton University, Samella Lewis’ undergraduate alma mater. Contact:
Deanna Brooks, Assistant Editor of IRAAA
to subscribe or purchase issues
The University Archives officially opened its doors in 1972. The importance of establishing an archives was to prepare and make available for research the various papers and the impressive number of records documenting the history of Hampton Institute, now Hampton University. To learn more, please visit our University Archives!