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The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Shares Collection on Google Arts & Culture Platform Share a Spelman College Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College
404.798.5212
jburton8@spelman.edu

Artistic collage with pink background

ATLANTA
 (June 10, 2021) -- Global art enthusiasts will have an opportunity to view a breadth of original work curated by the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art thanks to a new collaboration with Google Arts & Culture.

The Museum is featured among 30 Atlanta institutions selected for “Atlanta: Bold and Beautiful - from hip-hop to fine art, street art to high fashion.” Including hundreds of digitized works of fine art, photography, sculpture, murals and more, the online gallery brings together world-class Atlanta institutions that showcase the city’s culture – past and present – on the Google Arts & Culture platform and app at g.co/exploreatlanta.

The Museum is the first arts institution located on the campus of a historically Black college or university to be involved in the Google Arts & Culture initiative. 

More than a dozen images from “The Arc of the Collection,” which traces the Museum’s collection through the lineage of its works, beginning in 1899 and incorporating four pivotal moments, will be included in the Google project.

“The Arc of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Collection uplifts an extraordinary community of artists, alumnae, arts leaders, students, and supporters of Spelman. Interwoven within this exhibition are the efforts, spirits, scholarship and voices that have helped to shape the Museum’s collection,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “We are excited for this opportunity to share our collection with a broader arts community.”

The exhibition opens with a lens on the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Coordinated Program. Established in 1964, this rigorous program expanded arts offerings for students at Spelman, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University, and supported an extensive roster of artists-in-residence, including Benny Andrews (1930 – 2006), Herman “Kofi” Bailey (1931 – 1981), Floyd Coleman (1937 – 2019), Sam Gilliam (born 1933), Barrington Watson (1931 – 2016), and others.

“These artists personified the networking and mentorship values cultivated in the AUC that have left its impression on the growing collection of artworks and artists influenced by their guidance,” said Anne Collins Smith, C’96, curator of collections and interim associate director of the Museum.

Along with the Museum, more than 130 stories, 4,800 artworks and artifacts spotlighting city murals and neighborhoods, HBCUs, rap music and classical orchestra, and local figures who make national history, fine arts and food are included in the Google project. 

Atlanta is the first city in the American deep south and fourth in the U.S. to be featured in Google Arts & Culture’s global initiative. Along with Kansas City, Milwaukee and Charlotte, Atlanta joins European cultural hubs on the platform including Milan and Naples, Italy, Lyon, France, and Hamburg, Germany. As travel and tourism opens, Google Arts & Culture hopes Atlantans will be reminded just how much their city has to offer, and that visitors will be encouraged to discover the city for themselves.

“We are thrilled to showcase Atlanta’s rich culture and historic art scene for everyone to explore and enjoy online,” said Hetal Joshi Gordon, director, global client lead and site lead for Google’s Atlanta Office. “From the city’s historic museums to global cuisine and innovative spirit, Atlanta is unique and joyful. We want to give a special thanks to our 30 local partners, without their support the world would not be able to experience this vibrant and charming city.”

To experience 'Atlanta: Bold and Beautiful," download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app or visit Google Arts & Culture

ABOUT SPELMAN COLLEGE MUSEUM OF FINE ART  
The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, which was established in 1996, inspires and enriches the Spelman College community and the general public through art by and about women of the African Diaspora. In “Six Reasons to Love Atlanta,” CNN.com praised the Museum for its “fantastically curated exhibitions.” As the Museum’s 25th anniversary approaches in 2021, the institution is even more focused on its priorities: continuing its legacy of presenting thought- provoking exhibitions such as Theaster Gates: Black Image Corporation (2020),  Amy Sherald (organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2019), PRESENCE: Meditations on the Spelman College Collection (2019), Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness (organized by Autograph London and curated by Renée Mussai, 2018), Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi (2018), and Mildred Thompson: The Atlanta Years, 1986 – 2003 (curated by Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., and Melissa Messina, 2019) that have garnered critical and popular attention; organizing dynamic and empowering programs; and expanding its relevant collection. 

The Museum’s milestones include being selected as the first institution from the United States that jointly (along with the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston) represented the nation at the 2012 Havana Biennial in Havana. In 2015, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Museum, in collaboration with Spelman’s Department of Art & Visual Culture, launched a Curatorial Studies Program, a pilot initiative to prepare and develop the next generation of curators. With enthusiastic support from the Walton Family Foundation, this program has expanded and in 2018, Spelman established the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective, currently supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation. For more information about the Museum, visit museum.spelman.edu. 

ABOUT SPELMAN COLLEGE  
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country’s leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 57 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 22 for undergraduate teaching and No. 6 for both innovation and social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 13th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu. 

About Google Arts & Culture 
Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2.000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips. If Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, then Arts & Culture's mission is to make the world's culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It’s your doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world. Discover stories about cultural heritage ranging from Van Gogh’s bedroom paintingsPuerto Rico’s heritageSports in Australia or the women's right movement to ancient Maya templesJapanese Food and Indian Railways

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