Ohr-O’Keefe gifted with major donation of African American artwork

A collection of 50 pieces of African American artwork are now housed at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, thanks to a donation by collector Gordon W. Bailey.

Bailey, who lives in Los Angeles, said he was honoring the wishes of museum namesake Jerry O’Keefe.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to support the museum’s abiding commitment to honor the wishes of its progressive benefactor, Jerry O’Keefe, who envisioned an inclusive museum that served the entirety of the region.”

Bailey’s donation will be showcased in the feature exhibition “Changing Tides: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey,” that will open July 12.

Artists featured in the donated collection include African American artists Leroy Almon, David Butler, Richard Dial, Thornton Dial, Minnie Evans, Roy Ferdinand, Sandy Hall, Clementine Hunter, Charlie Lucas, Juanita Rogers, Sulton Rogers, Welmon Sharlhorne, Herbert Singleton, Willie White and Purvis Young; Native Americans Silas and Bertha Claw, Betty Manygoats, Elizabeth Manygoats, Wallace Nez and Lorraine Williams and Southern potters Burlon Craig, Cheever Meaders and Lanier Meaders.

“On behalf of the board and the O’Keefe family, I would like to express my deepest appreciate to Mr. Bailey for making this generous donation of important artworks,” said Jeffery H. O’Keefe. “In addition to enriching the museum’s permanent collection by adding Native American and Southern pottery, his gift makes real an important part of our founding mission of documenting and celebrating African American art and culture.”

The Ohr-O’Keefe joins other museums that have benefited from Bailey’s donations, including the California African American Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, High Museum of Art Atlanta, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Perez Art Museum Miami, Speed Art Museum and Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

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