After Controversial Trip To Arkansas, Stieglitz Art Collection Returns To Fisk University | Nashville Public Radio

After Controversial Trip To Arkansas, Stieglitz Art Collection Returns To Fisk University

Feb 19, 2016

Fisk University’s famed Alfred Stieglitz Collection has returned to Nashville. After two years hanging in the Crystal Bridges museum in Arkansas, the artwork will get an unveiling here on April 7.

It stirred controversy and a long legal battle when Fisk agreed to enter into shared ownership of the collection. But in the deal, the university got a crucial $30 million.

Some of the money preserves the art, which was first donated by painter Georgia O’Keefe in 1949.

While it was away, Fisk renovated the late-1800s Carl Van Vechten Gallery — mostly exterior window and roof work.

And there’s a new art curator on campus who knows the collection well: Nashville native and Fisk alum Jamaal Sheats.

More: Hear a feature on  Jamaal Sheats' own artwork here.

“As a child I admired it. As a student I learned from it. As an artist, I realized that I was influenced by it. And so now to kind of be the caretaker of it, now, it’s an exciting feeling for it, to have it back,” Sheats said.

The 101 works of art will be shown about thirty at a time, to rotate every few months, until they go back to Crystal Bridges again in two years.

“It will feel different,” Sheats said, but, “you’ll still have your old favorites.”

The art returns as Fisk celebrates its 150th birthday. April also features faculty and student art openings, a theater production, and a performance by the Jubilee Singers.