Pioneering collectors Harriet and Harmon Kelley paved the way for the collection of African American art by museums and private individuals across San Antonio, Texas, and the United States. Something to Say: The McNay Presents 100 Years of African American Art illustrates the Kelley Collection’s impact on our cultural landscape by juxtaposing works from their renowned holdings with loans from the burgeoning collections of African American art of Guillermo Nicolas and Jim Foster, John and Freda Facey, and the McNay Art Museum. Something to Say is the first survey of modern and contemporary African American art to be presented at the McNay.
Drawn primarily from the ground-breaking collection assembled by Harriet and Harmon Kelley over nearly three decades, Something to Say presents more than 50 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and photographs by a wide range of 20th- and 21st-century artists. Featuring masterpieces by such iconic figures as Charles Alston, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Hughie Lee-Smith, Norman Lewis, Horace Pippin, and Charles White, the exhibition and its related programs allow visitors to reflect upon a broad range of African American experiences, and examines the ways different African American artists have expressed personal, political, and racial identity over approximately 100 years. The exhibition empowers the visitor to appreciate multiple perspectives through various artistic expressions. Something to Say therefore exemplifies the McNay’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and social consciousness as well as artistic excellence.
(Photo: Charles Louis Sallee, Jr., Girl with Pink Geranium, 1936, oil on canvas, The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts, © Charles Louis Sallee, Jr)