Kasseem Dean, aka Swizz Beatz, became a member of the Brooklyn Museum’s board of trustees this past October, and in a show of his dedication he brought along wife, Alicia Keys, to the museum’s recent Fund for African American Art gala. Beatz is a noted collector of contemporary art but many of today’s artists are indebted to the trailblazing African American artists who came before them.
In recognition of this, the fund was created in 2010 to support gifts and purchases of precontemtpoary art by leading African American artists. Since then, the Brooklyn Museum has helped lead the way in ensuring that the underrepresentation of African American artists within museum collections is addressed and corrected. This year, the fund honored two major advocates of that mission, Charlynn and Warren Goins.
“Our involvement began 15 years ago when Linda S. Ferber came to see our collection for inclusion in an exhibition. She then invited us for lunch and invited us to join the board of trustees,” Goins told the crowd as she accepted her award. “Seven years later our friend and fellow board member, Tracey G. Riese, suggested that the museum create a fund to incorporate precontemporary African American art into permanent collections here. Building the fund has been a team effort and we are being honored tonight as just part of the team.”
Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, enthusiastically praised the couple for their support. “Thanks to Charlynn and Warren, major museums in our city and beyond are featuring precontemporary works by African American artists in their American art collections. It has made us a model for colleague institutions around the country.”