We are pleased to announce that the processing of the Samella S. Lewis papers is now complete. Samella Lewis is an artist, educator, filmmaker and author from New Orleans. She attended Dillard University, Hampton University and Ohio State University and has taught at many American universities. She is the founder of the International Review of African American Art journal and the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles. The collection consists of correspondence and personal papers, artwork, subject files, photographs, writings, printed material, and audiovisual material.
Correspondence is both professional and personal in nature and includes letters from her mentor and fellow artist Elizabeth Catlett. Personal papers include administrative papers from the The International Review of African American Art (IRAAA), the Museum of African American Art, Scripps College, and the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture; awards; and scrapbooks. Artwork includes photographs of paintings and sculptures by Lewis, as well as a sketchbook of original drawings.
Subject files primarily relate to art, culture and history, as well as artists such as John Biggers, Jacob Lawrence and Betye Saar. Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Lewis, as well as other photographs relating to artists and art throughout the African diaspora. Slides relating to African American artists and international art make up the bulk of the photographs. Writings consist of drafts and manuscripts for several of Lewis’ books, articles and interviews. The bulk of printed material consists of items pertaining to Lewis and primarily document her exhibitions and speaking events. Audiovisual material consists of video and film recordings of artists and exhibitions as well as her films, including The Black Artists and A Film About the Work of Elizabeth Catlett.
The online finding aid for the Samella S. Lewis papers can be found here. Stay tuned for more updates from the “Revealing Her Story” grant project!