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Jeanine Visits Souls Grown Deep at the Royal Academy in London

A Trip to London to View

Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers

While vacationing in London, I discovered a wonderful exhibit showcasing black artists of the American South at the Royal Academy of Arts. Of course, I squeezed in a visit! I had been to the Academy during a textile tour in 2021 and relished another visit! The title Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers comes from a classic Langston Hughes poem.

RAA President Rebecca Salter makes the point that few of the artists enjoyed a formal art education. Instead, they learned from family, friends, and an undying, intrinsic urge to create. The fact that the Royal Academy was founded to offer formal training to artists and architects speaks volumes to stimulate discussion about different methods of learning and the teaching of art.

I was proud to have offered many of these artists’ work in my gallery including Jesse Aaron, Richard Burnside, Archie Byron, Bessie Harvey, Charlie Lucas, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose Tolliver, and Purvis Young. Early quilts from the Gees Bend Quilters lent a colorful abstract interaction with art. The exhibition publication, Souls Grown Deep Like the River published by the Royal Academy of Arts would make an important addition to any art collector’s library.


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