The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art's permanent holdings form an impressive collection of art, ranging from paintings and sculptures to prints and textiles. The collection has been enhanced by several renowned artists in residence who not only taught studio courses but also gave important works to the College.
The collection's greatest strength, 20th-century paintings and sculptures by African-American artists, is seen in works by Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, Valerie Maynard, Selma Burke, Herman "Kofi" Bailey, Elizabeth Catlett, Claudia Widdiss and Lloyd McNeil.
Particularly significant are works by Hale Woodruff, the prominent painter, printmaker and teacher who taught at Spelman College, established the art department at the Atlanta University Center in 1931 and founded the Atlanta University Annuals in 1942. The permanent collection also comprises extensive African holdings, with a strong emphasis on the art of central Africa.