Education at HBCUs extends far beyond the classroom, and Morehouse College is no different.
This week, the historically Black college received a generous gift to the student body and faculty from Morehouse alumnus George Wells, of the Wells Group, in the form of a $1 million art collection.
“I will always be grateful for my Morehouse education and the springboard it created for my career on Wall Street and in business, and I want to recognize that with this gift,” Wells said in a press statement for Black Enterprise.
According to Black Enterprise, in 2018 Wells began his art collection with his husband, Manfred Ratner, which has now grown to include over 50 pieces of artwork from both rising and established artists.
The purpose of building this collection was for Wells to be able to reflect on prominent paintings from Black and LGBTQ artists that speak to representation in their communities and educate his alma mater on cultural identity, social, and political critiques.
“Owning multiple works by Johnson and Thomas is like owning a piece of history to me. Their practices both showcase black resiliency and triumph but in different ways and from different gender perspectives,” Wells continued in his statement. “It is my hope that this gift will serve as an impetus for furthering racial equality within the art world during this exceptionally vulnerable time for Americans and race relations.”
Some of the names featured in the collection include artists such as Rashid Johnson, Ivy Haldeman, McArthur Binion, and Amy Sherald.