To Conserve a Legacy American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities by Richard J. Powell and Jock Reynolds, and: Art in Mississippi 1720–1980 by Patti Carr Black (review)

Art in Mississippi 1720–1980 by Patti Carr Black (University Press of Mississippi, 1998)

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To Conserve a Legacy American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities by Richard J. Powell and Jock Reynolds, and: Art in Mississippi 1720–1980 by Patti Carr Black (review)

by Dale Volberg Reed
Southern Cultures, Vol. 5, No. 4: Winter 1999

The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1999; University Press of Mississippi, 1998

H. L. Mencken wrote in 1917 that “when you come to . . . painters, sculptors, architects, and the like, you will have to give it up, for there is not a bad one between the Potomac mud-flats and the Gulf,” and he was generally assumed to be correct. Seventy-three years later William Gerdts explained in the second volume of his masterly Art Across America that “the art of the South has, until recently, been terra incognita. . . . Post-Civil War artistic activity has not only been ignored but even denied, presumed to have been a victim of the war’s devastation.