Columbus Museum of Art

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson: Ongoing Catalogue of Art and Exhibitions

Return to results page »Many Thousand Gone (from The Teachings, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego, 1992)

Curator’s comments

Aminah participated in a six-week study trip to Africa in 1979. The trip inspired a body of work consisting of hundreds of pieces that Robinson called Afrikan Pilgrimage. the Extended Family. Many of the works are on homemade paper she had prepared before she left Columbus. When there was no more homemade paper left, she used the shelf paper from the drawer in her hotel.

Artist’s comments

"Memories, woven together like the threads of treasured family cloths, are proteted and moved through generations; the sharing of memories becomes the story of all of our lives. Over time, memories become our history, telling us who we have been and who we are becoming. African-American slaves created such stories of themselves in the spirituals.

'The teachings,' my interpretations of the spirituals, are created from the words and images that come to me through these memories. They have grown from the stories and songs that were given to me by my family and my early teachers, and I offer them here to the children of today's troubled world and the children of tomorrow. They carry a message of dignity, knowledge, and wisdom. Through the teachings of the past, young people will know that they can reach their aspirations, can develop the beauty that is within them, and can sing praises in freedom and confidence.

The spirituals speak of survival, of freedom, and determination, of love and faith, of justice and of hope. The spirituals, weaving together the memories that carry us into the future, must not be forgotten. They are our stories, our chants, our dreams, our lives. As they did so long ago, they continue to reach out and offer hope."

Aminah-Brenda Lynn Robinson, The Teachings, Drawn from African-American Spirituals. (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) 1992, pg. 9-10.

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