A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund
A Force for Change is the first exhibition to explore the legacy of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, created in 1917 by the well known Chicago businessman and philanthropist. The Rosenwald Fund's Fellowship Program was designed to foster black leadership through the arts, literature, and scholarship, and between 1928 and 1948, the program awarded stipends to hundreds of African American artists, writers, and scholars across many disciplines.
The exhibition presents the artistic products of Julius Rosenwald’s support and includes more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by 22 Rosenwald fellows, as well as an original short documentary film. The artists in the exhibition are among the foremost of their era: Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Rose Piper, Augusta Savage, Charles White, Hale Woodruff, and more. The exhibition was organized for the Spertus Museum, Chicago, by guest curator Daniel Schulman.
A Force for Change has been designated an American Masterpiece by the NJ State Council on the Arts for the 2009-10 season. American Masterpieces is an initiative designed by the National Endowment for the Arts to introduce Americans to the best of our nations's cultural and artistic legacy. More information about the American Masterpieces series
Two related exhibitions complement A Force for Change. Exploring Identities: African American Works from the Collection examines some of the ways that contemporary African American artists have explored issues of individual and culturally determined identity. Drawn from MAM's permanent collection, works are by Elizabeth Catlett, Willie Cole, Melvin Edwards, Whitfield Lovell, Janet Taylor Pickett, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems. Martin Puryear Prints: Selections from the JPMorgan Art Collection presents 13 works by the internationally renowned sculptor and printmaker. Martin Puryear (b. 1941) has worked with Arion Press of San Francisco on a suite of woodcuts made in 2000 to accompany a limited edition of Jean Toomer's 1922 novel, Cane, regarded as the highest literary achievement of the Harlem Renaissance. The majority of the works in this exhibition are from the Cane project and typify Puryear's original sense of organic forms resonating with mysteriously evocative symbolism.
A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund was organized by Spertus Museum, Chicago.
The exhibition was made possible by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Major support was also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Righteous Persons Foundation, and The Judith Rothschild Foundation.
A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund was presented at the Montclair Art Museum with major support from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Additional funding was provided by the Vance Wall Foundation, Annie sez, Mandee, and Exhibition Angels Bob and Bobbie Constable, as well as through a Building Arts Pariticipation grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.