ANDREWS, BENNY, 1930-2006.
Benny Andrews papers, 1940-2006

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8xxcf


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Andrews, Benny, 1930-2006.
Title: Benny Andrews papers, 1940-2006
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 845
Extent: 97.75 linear feet (159 boxes), 2 oversized papers boxes and 3 oversized papers folders (OP), 15 bound volumes (BV), 7 oversized bound volumes (OBV), AV Masters: 3 linear feet (3 boxes), and 68 MB born digital material (586 files)
Abstract:Papers of African American artist Benny Andrews including correspondence, photographs, exhibit files, printed material, family papers, and artwork.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Series 9, Andrews family correspondence and papers, personal correspondence between Benny Andrews and Nene Humphrey is restricted to researchers until December 31, 2020.

Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access audiovisual materials in this collection.

Access to processed born digital materials is only available in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (the Rose Library). Use of the original digital media is restricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Benny Andrews papers, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History, Atlanta, Georgia.

Related Materials in This Repository

Raymond Andrews papers and Viola Andrews papers

Source

Gift of Benny Andrews and Nene Humphrey, 1999. Additions were donated by Andrews and Humphrey from 2001 to 2017.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Benny Andrews papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of African American Collections, Randall Burkett, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American culture and history.

Processing

Processed by Elizabeth Simoneau, December 2006.

Born digital materials processed, arranged, and described by Brenna Edwards and Zhexiong Liu, 2019-2020. Born digital materials include files taken from nine 3.5" floppy disks. For information as to how these materials were processed, see the processing note in the description of series 10, Audiovisual materials.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Benny Andrews (1930-2006) was an African American painter and collage artist as well a political activist. He was born on November 13, 1930 in Plainview, Georgia, a small community three miles from Madison, Georgia, to sharecroppers George Andrews and Viola (Perryman) Andrews, the second of ten children, and the first in his family to graduate from high school. He married Mary Ellen Smith in 1957 and had two sons and one daughter: Christopher, Thomas, and Julia. Andrews and Smith divorced in 1976 and he married Nene Humphrey in 1986.

Andrews graduated from Burney Street High School (Madison, Georgia) in 1948 and received a college scholarship for his work in the local 4-H organization to Fort Valley State College (Fort Valley, Georgia). Before he left, he spent a summer in Atlanta painting murals. When the scholarship ended two years later, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he trained in Texas and later served in Korea as a staff sergeant from 1950-1954. After leaving the military, Andrews attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts in 1958. While there, Andrews earned money as an illustrator for record companies and drawing advertising illustrations for theater companies in Chicago.

In 1958, Andrews moved to New York settling on the Lower East Side. His work was accepted for exhibition in New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Detroit, Michigan; and Provincetown, Massachusetts. His first solo exhibition was at the Forum Gallery in New York in 1962. Between 1960 and 1970, he exhibited a number of places in the northeast including the Paul Kessler Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and at the Forum Gallery in New York City. In 1965, Andrews received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship, which was renewed the following year and used it to return to Georgia. His Autobiographical Series of paintings was inspired by this trip, and it established his affinity for producing several works unified by a theme.

Andrews taught at Queens College of the City University of New York for twenty-nine years and was a visiting lecturer at many colleges and universities across the country. He became a spokesman for artists, and in 1969, Andrews co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC) which protested the Harlem on my Mind exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the lack of African American artists. From 1982-1984, he held the post of director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts and was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including election into the National Academy in 1997. He died on November 10, 2006.

Benny Andrews (1930-2006) was an African American painter and collage artist as well a political activist. He was born on November 13, 1930 in Plainview, Georgia, a small community three miles from Madison, Georgia, to sharecroppers George Andrews and Viola (Perryman) Andrews, the second of ten children, and the first in his family to graduate from high school. He married Mary Ellen Smith in 1957 and had two sons and one daughter: Christopher, Thomas, and Julia. Andrews and Smith divorced in 1976 and he married Nene Humphrey in 1986.

Andrews graduated from Burney Street High School (Madison, Georgia) in 1948 and received a college scholarship for his work in the local 4-H organization to Fort Valley State College (Fort Valley, Georgia). Before he left, he spent a summer in Atlanta painting murals. When the scholarship ended two years later, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he trained in Texas and later served in Korea as a staff sergeant from 1950-1954. After leaving the military, Andrews attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts in 1958. While there, Andrews earned money as an illustrator for record companies and drawing advertising illustrations for theater companies in Chicago.

In 1958, Andrews moved to New York settling on the Lower East Side. His work was accepted for exhibition in New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Detroit, Michigan; and Provincetown, Massachusetts. His first solo exhibition was at the Forum Gallery in New York in 1962. Between 1960 and 1970, he exhibited a number of places in the northeast including the Paul Kessler Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and at the Forum Gallery in New York City. In 1965, Andrews received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship, which was renewed the following year and used it to return to Georgia. His Autobiographical Series of paintings was inspired by this trip, and it established his affinity for producing several works unified by a theme.

Andrews taught at Queens College of the City University of New York for twenty-nine years and was a visiting lecturer at many colleges and universities across the country. He became a spokesman for artists, and in 1969, Andrews co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC) which protested the Harlem on my Mind exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the lack of African American artists. From 1982-1984, he held the post of director of visual arts for the National Endowment for the Arts and was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including election into the National Academy in 1997. He died on November 10, 2006.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Benny Andrews from 1940-2006. The papers include correspondence, exhibit files, files relating the his organizational work with the National Arts Program files and the National Endowment for the Arts, photographs, printed material, writings and illustrations, audio-visual and born digital material, artwork, and Andrews family correspondence and papers.

Arrangement Note

Organized into eleven series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Exhibit files, (3) Organization files, (4) Photographs, (5) Personal files, (6) Printed material, (7) Subject files, (8) Writings/Illustrations, (9) Andrews family correspondence and papers, (10) Audiovisual materials, (11) Artwork, and (12) Unprocessed additions.


Selected Search Terms

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Corporate Names

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Description of Series

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