Family Legacies: The Art of Betye, Lezley and Alison Saar at the Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann E. Millett-Gallant, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Family Legacies: The Art of Betye, Lezley and Alison Saar is the first major exhibition to feature together the artwork of this mother and two daughters. The fifty mixed-media pieces span over forty years of work (1964–2005) and embody multiple legacies: personal, familial, cultural, and artistic. Overall, the exhibition presents visually provocative and historically significant work, and succeeds in drawing informative connections between the pieces without minimizing each artist’s individuality. The show is co-curated by Jessica Dallow, art history professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Ackland’s Barbara Matilsky, in collaboration with the artists. Instructional materials explore the multiple connotations of each piece and include artists’ quotes. Wall labels offer comparative images drawn from art history and popular culture, and articulate major organizational themes of the show: “art, family, and identity”; “interpreting stereotypes and offering alternative histories”; “reconsidering slavery”; “interpreting mixed-race ancestry”; and “revealing the spirit through art.” These themes overlap and materialize differently in each work, articulated best in the artists’ production of and relationship with domestic, ritual, personal, industrial, and organic objects. History, memory, and spirituality Family Legacies: The Art of Betye, Lezley and Alison Saar animate the materials of these mixed-media assemblages, forms that are conducive to their multi-referential themes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
Betye, Lezley, Alison Saar, mixed-media art exhibition, family in art, artwork

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