Beverly Buchanan

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Beverly Buchanan (born October 8, 1940, Fuquay, North Carolina) is an African-American artist whose works include painting and sculpture. Buchanan is noted for her exploration of Southern vernacular architecture through her art.[1]

Buchanan was born in Fuquay, North Carolina, but grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where her father was dean of the School of Agriculture at South Carolina State College, which was then the only state school for African Americans in South Carolina.[1]


In 1962 Buchanan graduated from Bennett College, a historically black women's college,[2] in Greensboro, North Carolina with a degree in medical technology. She went on to attend Columbia University, where she received a master's degree in parasitology in 1968 and a master's degree in public health in 1969.

Although she was accepted to medical school, Buchanan decided not to go due to her desire to dedicate more time to her art. In 1971 she enrolled in a class taught by Norman Lewis at the Art Students League in New York City.During the 1970s Romare Bearden became her friend and mentor.[1] Buchanan decided to become a full-time artist in 1977 after exhibiting her work in a new talent show at Betty Parsons Gallery [3] In the same year, she moved to Macon, Georgia.[1]


Buchanan has created drawings, sculpture, prints, and photos.[1]

In 1976 and 1977, Buchanan drew "black walls"[4] on paper. She "wanted to see what the wall looked like on the other side"[4] and put four walls together in three dimensions. In the same year, she moved to Macon, Georgia. She then began to sculpt in cement. An example of a three-dimensional work from her early career is the interactive sculpture "Ruins and Rituals" at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia.[5]

Buchanan is best known for her body of work on the “shack,” an elemental structure that houses the have-nots of society. She treats shacks not as documentary rebuffs but instead as images of endurance and personal history. She makes the simple, rustic, dilapidated house the subject of many paintings and sculptural constructions treated with bright colors or childlike simplicity. Her works evoke the warmth and happiness that can be found even in the meanest dwelling, representing the faith and caring that is not reserved for privileged classes.[6]


1980 - Guggenheim Fellowship[7] and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. 1990 - National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in sculpture. 1997 - Georgia Visual Arts honoree. 2002 - Anonymous Was a Woman Award. 2005 - College Art Association Committee for Women in the Arts distinguished honoree 2011 - Women's Caucus for Art lifetime achievement award [1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Buchanan, Beverly (1994). "Shack Portraiture: An Interview with Beverly Buchanan". In Flomenhaft, Eleanor. Beverly Buchanan: ShackWorks. p. 12. 
  4. ^ a b Buchanan, Beverly (1994). "Shack Portraiture: An Interview with Beverly Buchanan". In Flomenhaft, Eleanor. Beverly Buchanan: ShackWorks. p. 13. 
  5. ^ "Ruins and Rituals". Museum of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  6. ^ [3], Beverly Buchanan from Awards Section on College Art Association.
  7. ^ "Beverly Buchanan". Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 

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