Tiny Paintings: Handmade Artist Cards from the Charles Alston Collection
Wilson Special Collections Library, 4th Floor
Through March 31, 2016
Free and open to the public
An exhibition of 46 handmade greeting cards by American artists of the mid-twentieth century is now on display in the Wilson Special Collections Library. Tiny Paintings: Handmade Artist Cards from the Charles Alston Collection is in the fourth floor exhibit space through March 31.
Alston (1907-1977) was a prominent African American artist who was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He later lived and worked in New York, where he was also an educator and advocate for the arts. His papers, which contain the cards on view, are part of the Southern Historical Collection.
“Greeting cards frequently served as a portable way for artists to share their work with one another and to maintain their networks”, said Chaitra Powell, African American Collections and Outreach Archivist.
The exhibition includes cards by Alston, and by the artists, architects, illustrators, and painters in his circles. Their styles range from realistic to abstract images, and include paintings, collage work, pen and ink drawings, and vinyl cut prints.
Dr. John Bowles, associate professor in the UNC art department and affiliate of UNC’s Institute for African American Research, curated the exhibition along with Powell and Southern Historical Collection staff.
The exhibition coincides with the Ackland Art Museum’s Beyond Walls: Designs for Twentieth-Century American Murals, which includes works by Charles Alston.