Including Works by Mickalene Thomas, Mcarthur Binion, Rashid Johnson, Amy Sherald, and Ivy Haldeman
Founder and Chairman of Wells Group of New York and Chief Financial Officer of quip, George Wells, has pledged a major gift to his alma-mater Morehouse College, the nation’s only HBCU for men. Wells, who graduated from Morehouse in May 2000, has spent the past two years amassing a collection with a focus on identity politics and racial inequality. Three major works that will be included in this initial gift to Morehouse are McArthur Binion’s DNA:Study, 2020, Rashid Johnson’s Untitled Broken Men, 2020 and Amy Sherald’s, Handsome, 2020. Not yet purchased works will include several works by artist Mickalene Thomas, a painting by Ivy Haldeman, and several other artists.
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George Wells stated: “I will always be grateful for my Morehouse education and the springboard it created for my career on Wall Street and in business, and I want to recognize that with this gift. Owning multiple works by Johnson and Thomas is like owning a piece of history to me. Their practices both showcase black resiliency and triumph, but in different ways, and from different gender perspectives. It is my hope that this gift will serve as an impetus for furthering racial equality within the art world during this exceptionally vulnerable time for Americans and race relations.”
Morehouse College’s Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) accepted the donation on behalf of the College. The College will display the collection in 2021.
Monique Dozier, Vice President of the Office of Institutional Advancement stated: “I would like to thank George Wells and Manfred Rantner for their generosity. This wonderful contribution from a Morehouse College alumnus celebrates the culture, creativity, intellect, and history of Black people. It also reinforces the importance of investing in the talents of diverse artists. The George Wells Collection will spur academic conversations in our classrooms and be a source of pride for the College, our scholars, alumni, and the Southwest Atlanta community.”