General Motors and the General Motors Foundation donated funds for African American curatorial department and this exhibition
A Corporation Dedicated to the Advancement of African American Art

In July 2000, General Motors (GM) and the General Motors Foundation donated $5 million to assist the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) in establishing the General Motors Center for African American Art (GMCAAA). The museum hired Valerie Mercer as head curator of this groundbreaking department, which has been aggressively advancing studies in African American art through research, special exhibitions, lectures and symposia. The GMCAAA has added some of the world’s most sought-after artworks to the DIA’s collection and has attracted world–renowned speakers such as scholar Richard J. Powell of Duke University and artist Elizabeth Catlett.

GM is an exemplary model of corporate dedication to the arts, and its donation to the GMCAAA is just one example of its abundant support for the DIA. For several years, GM has sponsored some of the museum’s most important fundraisers, including Under the Stars®, Fash Bash® and the Friends of African and African American Art’s (FAAAA) annual Bal Africain®. With an ongoing devotion to education, GM is also a participant in the museum’s annual fund to support educational programs and donates to FAAAA for art acquisitions and programming.

Image Caption: Edwin Harleston, Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1920, oil on canvas. Walter O. Evans Collections. (left)