Art in the Atrium: Celebrating 20 years of celebrating African-American art, Jan. 12 at Morris Museum

Norman Wilfred Lewis is not a household name. But maybe it should be.

Norman Lewis, untitled, 1947 mixed media

Norman Lewis, untitled, 1947 mixed media, part of 'Celebrating Our Legacy' at Art in the Atrium.

As the first major African-American artist in the Abstract Expressionist movement, Norman Lewis showed his works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.

The Harlem native was a trailblazer. And you can follow that trail at the Morris Museum, where creations by Norman Lewis and 29 other black artists will be displayed for the next two months to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Art in the Atrium, the state’s leading showcase of African-American art.

A free opening reception for Celebrating Our Legacy is scheduled for Jan. 12 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at the museum in Morris Township; light refreshments will be served and artist Janet Taylor Pickett will discuss the history of the nonprofit Art in the Atrium show.

The exhibition runs through March 18 at the museum. Several guest lectures are scheduled along the way:

  • Feb. 4, 1 pm Rosalind Nzinga Nichol, artist and educator,  African origins of African-American arts and crafts
  • Feb. 25, 1 pm Rosalind Nzinga Nichol and Tarin M. Fuller, guest curator for Celebrating our Legacy: The 20th Anniversary Exhibit of Art in the Atrium, to discuss the early African-American masters of fine arts from the 18th century through the Harlem Renaissance.
  • March 8, 6:30 pm Rosalind Nzinga Nichol and Halima Taha, art advisor and appraiser, on  the art of collecting contemporary African-American art.

The lectures are free with museum admission. Please call 973-971-3718 to register. On Feb. 9, at 6:30 pm, Morris Museum Associate Curator Angela Sergonis leads a tour of exhibitions, including Celebrating Our Legacy. The tour price is $7.

Featured artists:

Alonzo Adams

Benny Andrews

Romare Bearden

Terry Boddie

Barbara Bullock

Bisa Butler

Leroy Campbell

Elizabeth Catlett

Willie Cole

Viki Craig

Jose Cruz

David Driskell

Sam Gilliam

Nora Green

Curlee Raven Holton

Norman Lewis

Thomas Malloy

Don Miller

Maceo Mitchell

Russell Aldo Murray

Rosalind Nzinga Nichol

Janet Taylor Pickett

Marsha Pickett

Faith Ringgold

William Tolliver

Cedric Smith

Jimmy Lee Sudduth

Bisa Washington

Charles White

Deborah Willis

Where: 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morris Township.

When: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Free for museum members and the public every Thursday between 5 and 8 p.m.

Details: Call 973-971-3700, or visit



Speak Your Mind