January 30, 2014

Mary Marshall

'Tradition Redefined' Opening Reception

Event Details: 6:00 p.m., February 21, Saint Louis University Museum of Art

Girl with Bird
Thelma Street's Girl with Bird.

Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African American Art will open at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art with a 5 p.m. reception Friday, Feb. 21. The Thompsons will be in-gallery at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, for a "meet-the-collectors" reception. Both events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition features more than 60 sculptures, oil paintings, mixed media and ceramics by celebrated African-American artists including Romare Bearden, Thelma Johnson Streat and Henry O. Tanner. Contemporary artists include Radcliffe Bailey, Howardena Pindell and William T. Williams. Tradition Redefined continues through Sunday, May 18.

The exhibition was organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African-Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park. Tradition Redefined is supported in part, by a special fund from the Office of the President at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. The works are owned by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia and The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection of African-American art.

The Thompson collection includes the work of notable artists, as well as those by artists who have been considered emerging, regional or lesser known and have typically not been recognized in the traditional narratives of African-American art.

About the Collectors:

Having collected more than 600 works since their marriage in 1970, Larry and Brenda Thompson nurture great passion for collecting art. Their collection combines pieces of different media, mirroring the Thompsons' diverse tastes.

In 2012, the Thompsons donated the entire exhibition to the Georgia Museum of Art as part of a gift of 100 works by African American artists and an endowment to fund a curator of the African diaspora.

Brenda Thompson has long been a patron and leader in the arts. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Barnes Foundation and the board of the Clark Atlanta University art galleries. She joined the Georgia Museum of Art's board of advisors in fall 2011. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University in 1980, and she was an assistant professor at Morehouse College in the department of psychology before focusing on child and adolescent mental health, first as a clinical psychologist and then as a school psychologist.

Larry Thompson was born in Hannibal, Mo., and developed his eagerness for collecting art while an undergraduate at Culver-Stockton College. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan and has served as the deputy attorney general of the United States. Thompson has also taught at Georgia State University College of Law and the University of Georgia Law School.

The Thompsons currently reside in Greenwich, Conn. Larry Thompson is executive vice president of government affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary for PepsiCo.

This exhibition is supported in part by Emerson, Mary L. and Richard T. Fisher, the Saligman Charitable Foundation, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Lawrence H. Biondi, S.J., Endowment for the Visual Arts.

For further information, visit sluma.slu.edu.

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