Trove of Purvis Young Artworks Gifted to Black Archives History Foundation in Florida

Self-taught artist, Purvis Young, who died in 2010 at the age of 67, never graduated high school and spent time in prison. But those setbacks didn’t prevent him from achieving well-deserved art world recognition.

In 1999, the contents of the Miami-based artist’s entire studio, which included up to 3,000 pieces, were snapped up by the Rubells, according to the New York Times.

And now, the Bass Museum of Art announced it will gift over 400 works by the Miami artist to the Black Archives history and Research Foundation of South Florida. The timely donation comes at the heels of the Black Archive’s exhibition “A Man among the People: A Purvis Homecoming”, which is currently on view at the Lyric Theater Cultural Complex.

A large and important body of work from Young, whose paintings and murals depict African-American urban life and its strife, will now be on full display in the town that inspired him.

Executive director and chief curator at the Bass Museum said in a statement to the Miami Herald, “The Black Archives’ beautiful new facility in Overtown has the space for the works of art to be on permanent view, guaranteeing that generations to come will be able to learn from this important artist and his place within the context of the community that inspired his work.”


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