PAMM Announces Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art

Exhibition Features Works Acquired Through Museum’s Fund for African American Art

Painting of a woman in a store
Tschabalala Self, Chopped Cheese, 2017. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Photo: WorldRedEye.com

(MIAMI, FL — January 2, 2020) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to announce Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art, an exhibition showcasing a selection of artworks acquired through the museum’s Fund for African American Art, which allows the museum to purchase and showcase contemporary art by African American and African diasporic artists for its permanent collection.

On view from February 7 to July 26, 2020, the exhibition highlights a group of paintings, sculptures, and photographs that have since become iconic for the museum, including works by Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Kevin Beasley, Ed Clark, Lorraine O’Grady, Faith Ringgold, Tschabalala Self, and Juana Valdes, among several others. The title of the exhibition points to the idea of various, distinct artistic voices coming together in a spirit of harmony and solidarity.

“With the initial support of Jorge Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, who created the Fund for African American Art, we have spent the past eight years building on and expanding our collection into one that showcases the variety and impact of African American artists—both globally and in the Miami community,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “With a challenge grant from the Knight Foundation, and working with the PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art, we have successfully endowed the fund, with just under $2 million. It is an honor to highlight these artists in Polyphonic, and I look forward to continuing to enrich the Perez’s collection in this new decade.”

PAMM has a proud 35-year history of presenting modern and contemporary art by individuals of underrepresented communities from the United States, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The Fund for African American Art builds on that tradition with special thanks to the Ambassadors for the Fund, the museum’s affiliate group.

In 2013, Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation initiated PAMM’s Fund for African American Art with a grant of $1 million. In 2017, after receiving additional generous donations from the PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art and an additional matching grant from the Knight Foundation, PAMM created an endowed fund that today stands at almost $2 million. These contributions have established a powerful mechanism for the diversification and enrichment of the museum’s permanent collection through the acquisition of contemporary art by African American and African diaspora artists.

On February 15, 2020, PAMM will celebrate the Fund for African American Art and the inauguration of this exhibition with its annual Art + Soul Celebration. This year’s event honors Pamela Joyner and welcomes PAMM’s Ambassadors for African American Art and other arts supporters for an evening of cocktails, dancing, and the unveiling of the Ambassadors’ most recent art acquisitions. Last year, PAMM revealed the fund’s newest acquisition, a large-scale tapestry by Jamaican visual artist Ebony G. Patterson, who had a solo show at the museum in 2018. Along with Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art, this year, guests will have the opportunity to view the museum’s current exhibitions, including The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art and What Carried Us Over: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey.

Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art is organized by Maritza Lacayo, Curatorial Assistant, and René Morales, PAMM Interim Director of Curatorial Affairs.

About PAMM’s Fund for African American Art
The PAMM Fund for African American Art was established in 2013 with a $1 million donation, funded equally by Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, for the purchase of contemporary art by African American artists for the museum’s permanent collection. Through the Fund, the museum first acquired works by Al Loving, Faith Ringgold, and Xaviera Simmons, which joined other significant pieces in the museum’s collection by African American artists such as Leonardo Drew, Sam Gilliam, Rashid Johnson, Ebony G. Patterson, Lorna Simpson, James Van Der Zee, Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, and Purvis Young.

About Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 35-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM) and led by Director Franklin Sirmans, opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.

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Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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