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Raggin’ On: Exploring Aminah Robinson’s Art and Life at CMA

Last year, on November 21, the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) launched a unique exhibition devoted to the art and life of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, a key figure in African-American art, known for representing Black history through a variety of art media. Symbolically titled Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Robinson’s House and Journals, the exhibition features almost an entire estate that the artist bequeathed to CMA in 2015. Raggin’ On is on view through October 3, 2021.

Raggin’ On: Exploring Aminah Robinson’s Art and Life at CMA

Aminah Robinson headshot, 2007
Photo by Gary Kirksey
Courtesy of the Columbus Museum of Art

Raggin’ On: exploring Aminah Robinson’s art and life at CMA

Raggin’ On is a one-of-a-kind chance to go through the authentic beauty and energy of the ‘African experience’ by delving into the life of the famous artist. Unfortunately, Aminah Robinson passed away in 2015, but her legacy will be cherished and preserved forever.

Raggin’ On: Exploring Aminah Robinson’s Art and Life at CMA

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Easter Egg Hunt, 1987
Fabric book with found objects, 13 x 9 ½ x 2 ½ in.
Columbus Museum of Art, Estate of the Artist

The exhibition presents seven decades of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s creative effort through a variety of personal works and acquisitions. Among them are sculptures, rag paintings, drawings, books, and beaded button puppets. Visitors also have a chance to look at some of the 150 journals that Robinson kept since her teenage years. Special attention should be given to RagGonNons, large complex artworks that can best reveal the African concept of Sankofa, which refers to accepting the past to create the future. Overall, such a bequest provides a detailed look into the art and life of the African-American master.

Raggin’ On: Exploring Aminah Robinson’s Art and Life at CMA

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Poindexter Village Ragmud Collection, 1987
Fabric book with found objects, 13 x 9 ½ x 2 ½ in.
Columbus Museum of Art, Estate of the Artist

Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Robinson’s House and Journals meticulously reproduces the environment of the home where Robinson lived and worked. From vintage photos to recorded family conversations, all the objects add to the atmosphere of the exhibition, making it feel all too real.

Raggin’ On: Exploring Aminah Robinson’s Art and Life at CMA

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Studies into the Folk Costume of the Blackberry Patch/Poindexter Village, early 1800–1957, 1980–86,
Paint on cloth, 11 x 7 ¾ in.
Columbus Museum of Art, Estate of the Artist

If you happen to be in Columbus, Ohio, be sure to visit this unique exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art to find out more about the art and life of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, a prominent artist whose message is now more relevant than ever.

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