Benny Andrews papers
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Benny Andrews papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Auburn Avenue Research Library
Creator: Andrews, Benny, 1930-2006
Title: Benny Andrews papers
Dates: 1971-1992
Quantity: 3.0 linear ft.
Abstract:The collection consists of African American artist Benny Andrews' exhibit programs, announcements, guides, booklets, and catalogs for solo and collaborative exhibits between 1975 and 1992 as well as periodical articles from 1971 to 1992 and information about the artistic contributions of his family members.
Identification: aarl92-001

Biographical/Historical Note

Benny Andrews is a painter who was born in Madison, Georgia on November 13, 1930. He was one of 10 children. He attended Fort Valley State College from 1948 to 1950 and received his art training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1954-1958, where he earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. He has held teaching positions at several colleges and has been the Director of the Visual Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation.

Benny Andrews has also been an activist for African-American artists since the 1960's when he moved to New York. He helped to found an organization called the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969 in response to what many artists considered the condescending "Harlem on My Mind" exhibition mounted at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He continued to exhibit leadership in the arts by instituting outreach programs during the early 1980's in prisons, schools, and small towns in the United States.

He has participated in solo and group exhibitions across America since 1959 and has permanent collections at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Ga; the Hirshorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, Wash., D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.; and the O'Hara Museum in Tokyo, Japan, to name a few.

In addition to his solo art work, Benny Andrews has been a guest curator; an illustrator for several books; and an author of numerous articles. He has collaborated with his brother, Raymond his father, George, and his mother, Viola on different projects.

Mr. Andrews still travels to Georgia periodically to paint and continues to exhibit and lecture throughout the world.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of many exhibit programs; catalogs; periodical articles about the artist and his influences; and "information about other family members and their contributions to the art world.


I. Exhibit programs, 1975-1992

II. Periodical articles, 1971-1992

III. Posters, 1980

Index Terms

African American art--20th century.
African American artists--20th century.
Andrews, Benny, 1930-2006
Art--Social aspects--United States.
Black Emergency Cultural Coalition.
Civil rights movements in art--United States.
Exhibition catalogs.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Item, series, Benny Andrews papers, Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.


The collection at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History was donated by Mr. Andrews in 1992.

Processing Information

May, 1994


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Related Material

Benny Andrews and Nene Humphrey papers, Special Collections, Woodruff Library, Emory University.

Container List


Series I: Exhibit Programs, 1975-1992



11Exhibit Programs, Announcements, 1975 - 1987, 23 items
2Exhibit Programs, Announcements, 1988, 8 items
3Exhibit Programs, Announcements, 1989 - 1990, 19 items
4Calendar-style Announcements, 1989 - 1991, 2 items
5Exhibit Programs, Announcements, 1992, 7 items
6Postcards, 11 items
7Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (Benny Andrews; co-founder), 4 items
8Gallery Guides, 1989 1990, 8 items
8Exhibit Booklets, 1981 1987 1988 1992, 8 items
9Autographed Exhibit Catalog, 1984, 1 item
10Exhibits Curated or Hosted by Benny Andrews, 4 items
11Artistic Organizations' Bulletins, 1989 1992, 3 items
12Benny Andrews and other family members (George Andrews, Raymond Andrews, and Viola P. Andrews), 7 items
13Exhibit Programs, Announcements, no date (n.d.)

Series II: Periodical Articles, 1971-1992



21Periodical Articles, 1971 - 1975
2Periodical Articles, 1976 - 1979
3Periodical Articles, 1981 - 1989
4Periodical Articles, 1990 - 1992
5Periodical Articles -, No date
6Articles by Benny Andrews

Series III: Posters, 1980

1 poster announcing an exhibit hosted by the African American Master Artists Residence Program of Northeastern University, Jan. 6, 1980 - Feb. 9, 1980 is shelved in the oversize drawers in the Archives Division Stack area. "Georgia Remembered" Series 1976 is the picture on the poster