Saint Louis University

Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African-American Art

The Saint Louis University Museum of Art


 "Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African-American Art"

Continues through May 18, 2014

Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African-American Art continues at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art until May 18.

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.

Tradition Redefined 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. 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.

Artist: Joseph Delaney 1964 Oil on board © Joseph Delaney Photography by Greg R. Staley

Woman in Striped Dress ~ Artist: Joseph Delaney (1964) ~ Oil on board ~ © Joseph Delaney ~ Photography by Greg R. Staley


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 on 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 Ph.D. 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 is executive vice president of government affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary for PepsiCo. He has served as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Thompson has also taught at Georgia State University College of Law and the University of Georgia Law School. He developed his eagerness for collecting art while an undergraduate at Culver-Stockton College, and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan. Mr. Thompson was born in Hannibal, Mo.

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.


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