Foundations of Fortitude at the Clark Museum

Samella Lewis: “I See You”, 2005. Linocut. Gift of Samella Lewis.

Foundations of Fortitude:
Selections from the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection
Clark Humanities Museum, Jan. 8–Feb. 21, 2018

Artist, art historian, writer, museum founder and filmmaker, Dr. Samella Lewis devoted her career to increasing understanding of the achievements of African American artists. In honor of the Scripps College professor, the Samella Lewis Collection, a gathering of outstanding works by artists of color and women artists, was begun at Scripps. This rich collection provided the source for the upcoming exhibition, Foundations of Fortitude: Selections from the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection. Powerful and provocative, the pieces on display were produced by many of the most renowned artists of the 20th century. The exhibition opens on Jan. 8 at the Clark Humanities Museum of Scripps College, with a reception on Tues, Jan. 23 at 4 pm. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The exhibition features a varied selection of works on paper from such celebrated artists as: Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, Alison Saar, John T. Scott, and Samella Lewis, herself. In addition, the exhibition will showcase a number of rare artist books donated to Scripps by Dr. Lewis, including Maya Angelou’s Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul, with etchings by Dean Mitchell; Zora Neale Hurston’s Bookmarks in the Pages of our Lives, with serigraphs by Betye Saar; and Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail, with serigraphs by Faith Ringgold.

Professor Mary MacNaughton, director of the Williamson Gallery, and Linnea Rosenberg, a Wilson intern at the Williamson Gallery, organized Foundations of Fortitude with a shared intention. Rosenberg commented: “These artists honed their creative practices with resolve, producing a unique aesthetic. Recognition and praise for their collaboration, commitment, and artistry are long overdue.”

The Clark Humanities Museum is located in the Humanities Building at the center of Scripps College Campus. Directions can be found at The museum’s hours are Mon. through Fri., from 9–12:30 pm and 1:30–5 pm. Admission is free. For more information, please call (909) 607-8090.

Image: Samella Lewis, I See You, 2005, Linocut Print, Gift of Samella Lewis, Scripps College.