On Such a Night as This: A Celebration of African American Art

Nov 10, 2016 - Jan 28, 2017
Installation Views
Press release

ACA Galleries is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition that celebrates the range of styles and content in paintings, drawings and sculptures by African American artists from the 19th century to the present.


ACA Galleries' tradition of showcasing work by African American artists goes back to its founding in 1932. Numerous exhibitions of work by Charles White were presented since his first solo show at ACA in 1946. On view will be a rare oil from 1946, Mater Delorosa, that was featured in White's first ACA show.


Highlights of the exhibition include a selection of paintings by Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901), a Canadian-American Tonalist painter primarily known for his landscapes. In 1876 he won first prize at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition; the first African American artist to receive a national award.


Featured will be several works by Charles Ethan Porter (c. 1847-1923), an American Still Life painter. He is among the few African American artists of the 19th and early 20th century to work full time as an artist and was one of the first African American artists to exhibit at the National Academy of Design in NYC. The 2008 traveling show, organized by the New Britain Museum of American Art, was the first museum exhibition of his work and traveled to the Studio Museum in Harlem.


Robert Scott Duncanson (1821-1872), associated with the Hudson River School, was self-taught. His inherent ability and meticulous technique caught the attention of wealthy patrons who commissioned the artist to create murals and portraits, elevating his standing and respect in the community. By the 1860s the American press proclaimed him the "best landscape painter in the West," while London newspapers hailed him as the equal of his British contemporaries.


Work by Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert Colescott, Gayle Ellington, Ronald Joseph, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Edmonia Lewis, Norman Lewis, Richard Mayhew, Horace Pippin, Faith Ringgold, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Henry O. Tanner, Bob Thompson, Charles White and Hale Woodruff, among others will also be on view.