Spiral: Perspectives on an African-American Art Collective features artworks from members of the Spiral art collective. Active from the summer of 1963 through 1965, Spiral was founded by Romare Bearden, Charles Alston, Norman Lewis and Hale Woodruff. Originally, the group met to discuss the role of African-American artists in the civil rights movement. Eventually their conversations expanded to include the art world at large and the place of African-American artists in that world. The group met once a week and its membership expanded to include Emma Amos, Calvin Douglass, Perry Ferguson, Reginald Gammon, Felrath Hines, Alvin Hollingsworth, William Majors, Richard Mayhew, Earl Miller, Merton Simpson and James Yeargans.
Spiral: Perspectives on an African-American Art Collective (December 5, 2010—April 17, 2011) was organized by Emily G. Hanna and Amalia Amaki for the Birmingham Museum of Art. This presentation at The Studio Museum in Harlem takes the Birmingham exhibition as its starting point, bringing artworks featured there together with selections from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection, including the iconic Romare Bearden photo projection, Conjur Woman (1964), and Norman Lewis’s standout painting Bonfire (1962) and significant works from New York-area collections.