We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection” Introduction

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  • Explore the rise of untrained artists in the 20th century and discover their powerful personal journeys in We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection, on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from July 1, 2022, to March 26, 2023.  Featuring 43 artists including Judith Scott, Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Bill Traylor, and Nellie Mae Rowe, among others, the exhibition examines how, despite wide-ranging societal, racial and gender-based obstacles, their creativity and bold self-definition became major forces in American art. 

    Watch as Leslie Umberger, curator of the exhibition, discusses the importance of Margaret Z. Robson’s collecting vision and highlights game-changing artists presented in We Are Made of Stories. Hear from Douglas O. Robson on the importance of continuing his mother’s collecting tradition and his gift to SAAM.  

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