Our Faith Affirmed — Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection

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September 10, 2014 – August 8, 2015

The University of Mississippi Museum of Art presents Our Faith Affirmed – Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection, a truly inspiring and transformative exhibition celebrating a major gift by noted scholar and collector Gordon W. Bailey of artworks created by African American self-taught artists. This important exhibition, and accompanying illustrated catalogue, features works by twenty-seven artists, born between 1900 and 1959. Many of the artists are widely known and several–Thornton Dial Sr., Roy Ferdinand, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Charlie Lucas, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Purvis Young–are internationally exhibited. All of the artists, though unique individuals with decidedly different iconographies and points of view, share context. For them the raging authenticity and soulful expressiveness that is chiefly responsible for their popular and critical acceptance is solid evidence that they never bowed to limitations or expectations. In fact, they seldom altered their content of purpose whether cut off from the larger culture by geography or by law. Director Robert Saarnio states: “Mr. Bailey’s astute assessment that an academic campus-based museum with educational programs for schoolchildren, the general public, and University students stands uniquely positioned to leverage its collections for broad educational impact will prove prescient.”

image credit – Ralph Griffin, ‘Wizard’ (detail) collection Gordon W Bailey