Fisk University Receives Art Conservation Grant

Press Release

Fisk University Galleries
Photo: Fisk University Art Galleries Facebook

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bank of America announced Fisk University Galleries as one of 23 grant recipients for the 2021 Bank of America Art Conservation Project (ACP). The project provides grant funding to nonprofit cultural institutions throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.

Fisk University, one of the nation’s leading historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), is conserving artwork that will be part of an upcoming traveling exhibition, “African Modernism in America, 1947-1967,” beginning fall 2022.

Students from Fisk University, and from other University members of the Alliance of HBCU Museums and Galleries, will have unique opportunities to work alongside conservators and gain valuable experience in the field of art conservation.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from Bank of America” said the Director of the Fisk Galleries, Jamaal B. Sheats. “The support from Bank of America will further Fisk’s efforts to conserve objects in its collection and provide even more opportunities to cultivate the next generation of arts leaders.”

This is the first major traveling exhibition to examine the complex connections between modern African artists and American patrons, artists, and cultural organizations amid the interlocking histories of civil rights, decolonization, and the Cold War. During these years, institutions such as the Harmon Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, (HBCUs) collected and exhibited works by many of the most important African artists of the mid-twentieth century, including Ben Enwonwu (Nigeria), Gerard Sekoto (South Africa), Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudan), and Skunder Boghossian (Ethiopia).

This exhibition, drawn primarily from Fisk University’s remarkable collection of gifts from the Harmon Foundation, features more than 70 artworks by 50 artists that exemplify the relationships between the new art that emerged in Africa during the 1950s and 1960s and American art and cultural politics.

“Bank of America is thrilled to support Fisk University in preserving this incredible collection of artwork right here in Nashville,” said Tyson Moore, president, Bank of America Nashville. “We recognize the impact and importance the arts can have on our community and we believe in the power of art to help economies thrive, educate and enrich societies.”

Bank of America recognizes the private sector has a role to play in keeping the arts thriving in our communities, especially after the challenges faced by museums over the past year with closures and severely limited in-person visitor options. ACP is a unique program through which Bank of America provides grants to nonprofit museums across the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art that are in danger or deterioration. Bank of America has funded the conservation of over 5,000 individual pieces of art through nearly 200 projects in 36 countries across six continents in the past decade.

The full list of museums receiving grants through the 2021 Bank of America Art Conservation Project includes:

• Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

• Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

• Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (CSMVS), Mumbai, India

• Denver Art Museum, Denver

Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.

• Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki City, Japan

• Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

• Museo Nacional De Antropología, Mexico City, Mexico

• Museu Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil

• Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, Calif.

• Museum of Modern Art, New York City

• National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

• Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Mass.

• Sadberk Hanim Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

• Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City

• Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

• Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel

• The Menil Collection, Houston

• The New York Public Library, New York City

• The Wallace Collection, London, England

• Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

• Vatican Museums, Vatican City

• Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Conn.

Bank of America Arts and Culture
The Bank of America Art Conservation Project is a key demonstration of Bank of America’s arts support worldwide, and part of the company’s environmental, social and governance commitment. Through the Art Conservation Project, programs like Museums on Us®, loaning exhibitions through the Art in Our Communities program, the Masterpiece Moment video series and sponsorships and grants, we support a wide range of both local and world-class organizations. Our programs are designed to have a positive impact on economies and societies throughout the world, and shine a light on diverse cultural traditions. Through steadfast and strategic support, we have become one of the world’s leading corporate supporters of the arts. To learn more about our arts and culture support and programs, please visit

Fisk University
Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Consistently recognized for academic excellence, Fisk is ranked No. 6 of the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Moreover, Fisk is ranked No. 1 in the nation among HBCUs for social mobility, reflecting its consistent focus on student success and outcomes, and the No. 1 liberal arts HBCU in the nation for research expenditures. Last year, Fisk ranked third among HBCUs in major-related job placements.

The visual and performing arts are a critical part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of the institution. Its two Galleries, the Carl Van Vechten Gallery, and the Aaron Douglas Gallery, are widely known for their 101-object Alfred Stieglitz Collection, which is shared with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The Galleries are also home to an additional 4,300 works of art which include important holdings by artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, David Driskell, BenEnwonwu, Georgia O’Keeffe, Martin Puryear, Diego Rivera, Gerard Sekoto, Henry O. Tanner, Alma Thomas, Winold Reiss, and many others.

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