Hammonds House Museum, a leading institution dedicated to African diaspora and African American art, proudly announces the appointment of Halima Taha as Artistic Chair for the next three seasons. Taha, an esteemed arts professional, curator, and author of the groundbreaking book Collecting African American Art; Works on Paper and Canvas, brings a wealth of expertise in strategic planning, curation, artist and gallery management to her new role at the museum.
In her capacity as Artistic Chair, Taha will oversee the artistic scope of the museum’s exhibitions, contributing to strategic planning for the institution’s growth in conjunction with its dedicated Board. Her vision is to elevate and expand the intellectual diversity behind the visual statements artists make and to promote African descendent visual culture as a global interconnected thread for cultural diversity.
Taha’s profound and soul-stirring reverence for the intricate beauty inherent in both nature and humanity, combined with an insatiable curiosity, encapsulates the essence of the saying “Nature laughs in Flowers.” She finds both delight and purpose in the ongoing pursuit of self-discovery and the exploration of our ever-evolving world through art. Embracing the philosophy “Art is for and by the people” from mentor and friend Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012), Taha draws inspiration from Catlett’s influential legacy in her approach to art and its role in society.
Taha’s benchmark in her career is to stand apart from the traditional elitism inherent in the art world, asserting that artists make art for strangers and often the gatekeepers and decision-makers choose a select milieu to have access, which is a significant problem she aims to address. She believes that art provides a gateway for soft diplomacy and brings disparate audiences together who might not normally interact. She is committed to ensuring that the ideas presented by artists are not overshadowed by celebrity curators or those who seek to assert their intellectual prowess, but rather that the focus remains on the work and the artist.
“I am honored to join Hammonds House Museum and set the next chapter of its artistic direction,” said Halima Taha. “I am excited to collaborate with the museum’s passionate team and dedicated Board and stakeholders to further the institution’s mission of celebrating and promoting African diaspora and African American art while challenging the traditional elitism in the art world.”
The museum’s first exhibition season under Taha’s leadership promises to be a provocative one, offering a fresh perspective on themes of identity, colonial legacies, globalism, transnationalism, and community.
“We are thrilled to welcome Halima Taha to Hammonds House Museum,” said Imara Canady, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “This appointment marks the next phase in the museum’s multi-year capacity building plan which was originally slated to begin in 2020 but couldn’t be implemented until 2022 due to the Covid pandemic. Ms. Taha’s experience and vision will lead the museum down exciting new pathways artistically. We look forward to the impactful exhibitions and public programs she will bring to our community as well as adding her strategic expertise to our existing team as we move into the future, building upon our 35 year legacy.”
Taha’s inaugural exhibition showcases textile artist Precious Lovell’s compelling exploration of the experiences of Black American women and their interconnected relationships in her two new thematic collections, The Fabric Of Our Lives: Ex-Domestication and The Ties That Bind. The exhibition will open on January 26, 2024, and be on view through April 14, 2024. Visithammondshouse.org for more information.