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Andrea Barnwell Brownlee

Andrea Barnwell Brownlee is an art historian, curator, writer, critic, and the Director of the Museum of Fine Art at Spelman College, Atlanta. Her primary research interests are the visual arts of the African Diaspora, particularly the practice of African American and Black British artists. Brownlee undertook her Masters as well as her Doctorate degrees in art history at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Her doctoral thesis was Three Contemporary African Women Artists: (Re)Appropriating Her Own Image.

She has authored several books, namely African Americans in Art: Selections from The Art Institute of Chicago, 1999; Charles White: The David C. Driskell Series of African American Art, published by Pomegranate Communications in 2002; Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, and the Academy, published with Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, 2007. Alongside these, she has co-authoured or contributed texts to a number of publications, including Cinema Remixed and Reloaded, Contemporary Arts Museum, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, 2008. (With Valerie Cassel Oliver, of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston Texas. Other contributors included Isolde Brielmaier, Rhea Combs, Romi Crawford, Makeba Dixon-Hill, Leslie King-Hammond, Lowery Stokes Sims, and Anne Collins Smith.); The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, University of Washington Press, 2000 (Other contributors included Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Kirsten Buick, Walter O. Evans, and Amy M. Mooney); and Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues, National Museum of Women in the Arts, 2005 (Other contributors included Gloria Wade Gayles, and Leslie King-Hammond). Other texts by Brownlee have appeared in To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Rhapsodies in Black: The Art of the Harlem Renaissance. For the latter publication, an exhibition catalogue, Brownlee contributed Like the Gypsy’s Daughter Or Beyond the Potency of Josephine Baker’s Eroticism.

Reflective of some of the above publibations, Brownlee has curated several exhibitions including Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet and the Academy (2007), Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues (2005), Engaging the Camera: African Women, Portraits and the Photographs of Hector Acebes (2004).

Her writings have consistently reflected a pronounced clarity, critical engagement and rigour, and to this end have appeared in numerous journals including the International Review of African American Art, African Arts, and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Brownlee is universally respected and admired for her scholarship and her commitment to the visual arts of the African diaspora. Reflective of this, She has been the recipient of a significant number of important academic, professional, and scholarly awards including a MacArthur Curatorial Fellowship in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago (1998 — 2000). She has done much to establish the Museum of Fine Art at Spelman College, Atlanta, as an important gallery space.

Andrea Barnwell chaired the Historical Perspectives on International Curatorial Debates of the 1980s and 1990s panel, 21 April 2001 at the Shades of Black conference, Duke University, 19 - 22 April 2001.

Related items

click to show details of Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance

»  Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1997

click to show details of Shades of Black (book)

»  Shades of Black (book)

Book relating to a publication, 2005

click to show details of Shades of Black book review (Art Monthly)

»  Shades of Black book review (Art Monthly)

Review relating to a publication, 2005

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Arnolfini

Bristol, United Kingdom

»  The Corcoran Gallery of Art

Washington D.C., United States of America

»  Hayward Gallery

London, United Kingdom

»  Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre

Coventry, United Kingdom

»  M.H. de Young Memorial Museum

San Francisco, United States of America