Columbus Museum of Art

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson: Ongoing Catalogue of Art and Exhibitions

Return to results page »To Be A Drum, Picking Cotton (original art for To Be A Drum, Albert Whitman & Company, 1998)

Curator’s comments

In the summer of 1996, Aminah agreed to illustrate To Be A Drum, a children's book by Atlanta author Evelyn Coleman for the publishers, Albert Whitman & Company. The broad historical sweep of the book touched on Africa, the Middle Passage, slavery, civil rights, African-American soldiers, inventors, artists, and teachers and their students. Aminah created richly textured illustrations by incorporating paint, cloth, and found objects. She calls this type of work "rag painting." She researched each subject the author wrote about and included historic figures and events that are not mentioned in the text but that add an important dimension to the book

Artist’s comments

This cotton-picking, rag painting is reminiscent of my life in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1965-69, and also where my son was born. To create this rag painting, I've used red clay, cotton, tattered slave quilt made by my great aunt and bits of my mother's old clothes. One cotton picker carries cotton in an old sweet grass basket.

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