Beyoncé’s Mom Just Revealed Her Favorite Artists—and She’s Got Amazing Taste

A peek into the art collection of Tina Knowles-Lawson, the pop music matriarch who champions African-American artists.

Tina Knowles and Beyonce Knowles at The Launch Of House Of Dereon, 2011. Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images.

Now that’s how to land the motherload. For her newly launched podcast, Never Before,” media personality and writer Janet Mock interviewed the ultimate matriarch: Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson, creator par excellence and the woman who gave the world iconic superstars Beyoncé and Solange.

And Beyoncé’s mom is quite the art connoisseur, it turns out.

To kick off the interview, Mock implores Knowles-Lawson to take her on “a black art tour.” The Queen Mother’s favorite contemporary artist? Robert Pruitt, whose portraits of African-American women incorporate references to hip-hop, comic-book culture, Afrofuturism, and nods to the Black Lives Matter movement. A suite of Pruitt’s drawings in Lawson’s home is partially missing, because her eldest child (perhaps having a Sasha Fierce moment) borrowed them and now refuses to give them back.

Other Knowles-Lawson approved artists include painter Monica Stewart and Henry Ossawa Tanner, who is widely acknowledged as both the first African-American painter to gain international recognition in the 19th century and the first African-American to have his work collected by the White House.

Clockwise: Robert Pruitt's Bombs Over Baghdad, Captain America , Cosmic Cube, and El Saturn. Images © Robert Pruitt.

Clockwise: Robert Pruitt’s Bombs Over Baghdad, Captain America, Cosmic Cube, and El Saturn. Images © Robert Pruitt.

Henry Ossawa Tanner's Sand Dunes at Sunset (c. 1885). Gift of the White House Endowment Fund 1995.

Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Sand Dunes at Sunset (c. 1885). Gift of the White House Endowment Fund 1995.

Perhaps the most successful stage mom ever, Ms. Knowles-Lawson parlayed her hair-styling experience into rag-tag costume designing for her teen daughter’s girl-group: that little pop quartet, Destiny’s Child. Ever since, she has been a staple in her daughters’ entourage, documenting the lives of her famous spawn and their fabulous lives on Instagram, most recently capturing Solange’s monochromatic concert in the Guggenheim’s Rotunda.

Beyond her “Never Before appearance, a deep dive into Knowles-Lawson’s Instagram feed reveals that she is indeed an active gallery-hopping, exhibition-perusing carnivore of culture (misspelling of Derrick Adams notwithstanding).


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