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Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Souls Grown Deep Foundation is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the contributions of artists from the African American South in the canon of art history, and the cultural traditions in which they are rooted. The Foundation’s collection encompasses over 1,000 artworks by more than 160 artists. In 2014, the Foundation initiated a program to transfer the bulk of its holdings to the permanent collections of leading art museums, and has to date placed over 300 artworks in a dozen institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. The Foundation derives its name from a 1921 poem by Langston Hughes (1902-67) titled The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the last line of which is “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

In light of an expanding mandate, the Foundation began offering a grant program beginning in 2019.  Successful applicants are afforded the opportunity to work alongside curators, conservators, educators, and administrators, and gain experience in museum work in general. The internship includes a trip to visit the Foundation in Atlanta and the artists and communities it serves in the Southeast, including an excursion to Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

Our program will offer yet another avenue for students of color to develop a professional museum background in our emerging field through any one of a number of arenas: curatorial, registrarial, conservation, education, or administration. Participating Museums include the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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