by Hannah Sentenac, Thursday, February 12, 2015
Now, in honor of Black History Month, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami is launching a new exhibition: Under the Bridge, Beyond the Beach and Above the Muck: The Art of Purvis Young.
Young, who died in 2010, earned international recognition. His notable admirers and collectors have included [Lenny] Kravitz, John Belushi, and major museums. The list also includes former Miami-Dade County commissioner and philanthropist Ruth Shack and her husband, Richard. Indeed, it’s Ruth’s generosity that helped make the exhibition possible.
“Wealthy collectors Don and Mera Rubell are taking the hotel lobby art game to the next level at Miami Beach’s Albion Hotel with a newly-installed exhibition of never-before-seen works by local artist Purvis Young (1943–2010).”
by Dorothy Jenkins Field, February 19, 2015
“…riders will be able to…visit A Man Among the People, A Purvis Young Homecoming Exhibition. Designed and built by Timothy Barber the exhibition features collections donated to the Bass Museum and The Black Archives by the Rubell family.
Born in Liberty City on Feb. 2, 1943 Purvis later moved several miles south to Goodbread Alley in Overtown, a neighborhood populated by black migrant and immigrant families living in overcrowded conditions….
Alma Gosier-Brown, the librarian at the Dixie Park Library in the 1970s, observed Purvis, a daily library patron, studying the works of master artists such as Picasso, El Greco and Daumier. One day while Gosier-Brown was weeding the art section Purvis requested the discards. He began placing drawings in books withdrawn from the library’s collection. In appreciation for their assistance he presented each staff member with some of his first paintings.
Decades later actress and art collector Jane Fonda discussed his work in a documentary entitled, “Purvis Of Overtown.” Famed broadcast journalist Geraldo Rivera’s segment on Purvis gives insight to Miami’s self -taught urban expressionist.
In 2006, The Black Archives’ first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Purvis Young for his ability to create something out of nothing using everyday materials. After Purvis’ death, April 20, 2010, recording artist and art collector Lenny Kravitz praised Purvis for sharing his gift with the world. Through documentaries and YouTube interviews Purvis’ legacy continues as he tells his story himself.
The Purvis Young exhibition continues until June 30, 2015 at the Historic Lyric Theater.” Dorothy Jenkins Fields, PhD, is a historian and founder of the Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida Inc. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.