The Ruth Waddy Sketchbook

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The Ruth Waddy Sketchbook contains a collection of more than 120 drawings by African American artists (including Cedric Adams, Romare Bearden, Houston Conwill, Dana Chandler, David Hammons, Varnette Honeywood, Lois Mailou Jones, Samella Lewis, William Pajaud, Noah Purifoy, and Timothy Washington) compiled into a sketchbook that had belonged to Los Angeles artist and activist Ruth Waddy (1909-2003).

Waddy’s impact on the artists in her circle was profound and influential. To attest to her legacy and celebrate the acquisition of the Ruth Waddy Sketchbook for LACMA, we created a video of Adams and his mentor, artist and Waddy sketchbook contributor, Wes Hall, describing their memories of Waddy, their drawings in the sketchbook, and their impressions of the significance the sketchbook today. For Adams, what remains especially important is that the sketchbook is a “time capsule of what was going on” at the “advent of the black arts movement.”

The Ruth Waddy Sketchbook is being prepared/digitized for a special exhibition at LACMA to open in 2013.
Video production: Alexa Oona Schulz

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