Inside the Permanent Collection

In Gallery Exhibition - adhearing to state dictated pandemic regulations open to campus community ONLY

March 15 - April 30

A rare opportunity to view select items from the gallery’s permanent collection. Included are traditional drum, head mask and granary door from West Africa, as well as contemporary paintings and sculptures from local and regional African American artists including Joe Sam, Dana Chandler, Nelson Stevens, Dorrance Hill, and others.

Augusta Savage Gallery was founded in 1970 by the W.E.B. DuBois Afro-American Studies Department. During that time, through both donation and purchase, the gallery acquired various pieces from West Africa. These pieces include head dresses, masks, a granary door, and various instruments including drums, drumsticks, gourd shaker, banjo and balaphone. The head mask and granary door on view are part of a four-piece purchase from Amherst College and UMass Chancellor Dr. Oswald Tippo in 1970 or 1971. Also included in this exhibition, a drum from Ghana, purchased as part of a larger instrument collection in 1974 or 1975, then generously donated to the gallery by the department of Afro-American Studies Professor Dovi J. Afesi in his native Ghana. 

Various pieces by African American students, faculty and visiting artists are testament to the history of the New Africa House, the Afro-Am Studies Department and its students. There are pieces by beloved faculty members, Nelson Stevens, Richard Yarde and Dorrance Hill as well as students, Al Smith and JoeSam. 

Important contemporary African-American artists like sculptor, printmaker, designer and teacher Valerie Maynard, known for working with themes of social inequality and the civil rights movement; Black Power artist, activist and educator, Dana Chandler Jr., and renowned sculptor Ed Love.