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Something All Our Ownby Grant Hill
Synopses & Reviews
Since 1990, Grant Hill has thrilled sports fans with his artistry on the basketball court, first as an All-American player at Duke University and then as a six-time NBA All-Star for the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic. During these years, Hill has amassed a collection of art by African Americans that he now shares with the public through this book, which accompanies a traveling exhibition.
The forty-six pieces documented here include thirteen works that span the career of the great Romare Bearden, from his 1941 gouache painting Serenade to the important collages of the 1980s. Hill’s fascination with artists’ depiction of women is represented in Elizabeth Catlett’s lithographs, many of them from the 1992 series “For My People,” and her sculptures in stone, bronze, and onyx. In addition to these two giants of twentieth-century art, the Hill Collection features pieces by Phoebe Beasley, Arthello Beck Jr., John Biggers, Malcolm Brown, John Coleman, Edward Jackson, and Hughie Lee Smith.
Hill began collecting art in the early 1990s after learning from his parents to appreciate artworks not only as objects of beauty but as expressions of heritage and culture. According to the internationally known curator Alvia J. Wardlaw, he is part of an emerging group of young African American collectors who have “raised the bar for others.” Hill writes, “Getting to know yourself means understanding your background and appreciating those who have come before you. My father has a saying he uses in speeches: ‘To be ignorant of your past is to remain a boy. ‘The interest in my heritage as an African American is reflected in this collection.”
Something All Our Own features Wardlaw’s essay on the history of African American collecting. It also features articles about Bearden and Catlett by the scholars Elizabeth Alexander and Beverly Guy-Sheftall and reflections about Hill by the historian John Hope Franklin, Duke’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, and the sportswriter William C. Rhoden. Hill and his father, the NFL great Calvin Hill, contribute a dialogue that explores their motivations for collecting art.
At the heart of the book are the exquisite color photographs of the forty-six artworks included in the exhibition, with commentary by Wardlaw and by Hill himself.
As a star athlete, Grant Hill is well aware that African Americans who excel in sports and entertainment are more broadly recognized than their counterparts in artistic fields. He strives to inspire young people to explore their heritage and broaden their concept of excellence by learning more about African American art. By sharing his artworks with collectors and fans, Hill reminds us that while the jump shot is ephemeral, art is enduring.
The NBA (and former Duke) star presents his art collection, with essays (by Hill and others) on his own art collecting and art collecting in African Americans’ lives. Catalog to a touring show.
The six-time NBA All-Star for the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic shares his collection of art by African Americans in this book, which accompanies an exhibition traveling the country through 2005. Includes an essay on the history of African-American art by curator Alvia J. Wardlaw, and exquisite full-color photographs of Hill's 46-piece collection.
About the Author
“Already, Grant Hill is demonstrating that his talents extend far beyond playing basketball. In Something All Our Own Grant and a few very special experts celebrate and examine the creative expression of African American art and artists. From his father-son trips to museums and galleries with Calvin Hill during NCAA Final Fours, to his relationship as a patron of the works of Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett, among others, Hill sets out on the worthy mission of bringing recognition to prolific men and women and their rich legacy of expression. It's a story undertold. And kudos to Grant for not only recognizing that athleticism is fleeting while art and the expression of it are enduring, but for amassing such a fabulous collection and taking the time to share it.”—Michael Wilbon,The Washington Post/ESPN
“Calvin and Grant Hill share their enlightened personal views about the passion they have for assembling art collections, which enhances our knowledge of African American art. Something All Our Own is an important guide for others to follow.”—David Driskell, Artist and Art Historian
“Exhibiting art from the Grant Hill Collection—including a selection of superb collage and gouache prints by Romare Bearden and the classical sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett—makes it possible to feel the strength and importance of these African American artists. And too, it suggests the expansion of Grant Hill’s collection through his creative research, study, and his eye for the works and artists most representative of African-American Art.”—Raymond Nasher, Collector
“For so young a collector as Grant Hill to have assembled splendid groups of paintings and collages by Romare Bearden, sculpture and works on paper by Elizabeth Catlett, and art in a variety of media by other noted African-Americans suggests he has set as high a bar for his endeavors in the realm of art as he has for his work on the basketball court. Athletes, not artists, more often are this country's heroes, as Grant Hill has so knowingly acknowledged in this book. By making the fruits of his own support of artistic accomplishment known to a wide public by means of this catalogue and the circulating exhibition it documents, he will undoubtedly encourage others to become similarly supportive. In that way he is making an important contribution toward bringing greater attention to the heroic work of Bearden, Catlett, and others.”—Ruth Fine, Curator of the Art of Romare Bearden Exhibition, National Gallery of Art
“Grant’s collection evokes many impressions: strength, history, struggle, conflict, calm, triumph, family. His depth of appreciation and understanding of who he is and where he has come from have always been important facets of his life and career. In his usual thoughtful manner, Grant presents this catalogue for review and reflection: to not only expose the reader to the images and backgrounds of the art and artists who bring meaning to his life but to prod us to think about art as a shared experience that brings definition to our lives. I have known him too long to be surprised by the intelligent way in which he has done this.”—Tone Grant, Managing Director, Refco Securities
“I had concurrent emotions as I read Grant’s book. As an African American who was also a history major, I was mortified that so much of the information presented was new to me. And I was grateful that someone had taken the time to amass such an impressive body of visual and written work in an area where the public desperately needs educating. This is a wonderful collection which hopefully will bring in non-traditional supporters of African American art and artists. Grant should be proud. I am aware he has a day job, but what he's doing here is just as important—no, more important—for our people, our children and our future.”—David Aldridge, ESPN
What Our Readers Are Saying
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