Peggy Cooper Cafritz—the Washington, D.C., collector of African-American art, salonist, activist, fundraiser, co-founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and just-published author—died last week in the capital.
Her 2018 book FIRED UP! READY TO GO!—FINDING BEAUTY, DEMANDING EQUITY brings together images of more than 200 works of art that were lost in a 2009 house fire, as well as the art Cooper Cafritz had collected in the years since the catastrophe.
The Cooper Cafritz collection includes pieces by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Edward Mitchell Bannister, Alma Thomas, Norman Lewis, Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, El Anatsui, Yinka Shonibare, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Glenn Ligon, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, Noah Davis, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Titus Kaphar, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and Toyin Ojih Odutola.
PEGGY COOPER CAFRITZ, FIRED UP! READY TO GO!—FINDING BEAUTY, DEMANDING EQUITY: AN AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE IN ART, THE COLLECTIONS OF PEGGY COOPER CAFRITZ (New York: Rizzoli , 2018).
Contributors to the book’s text include Thelma Golden, Simone Leigh, Uri McMillan, Jack Shainman, Tschabalala Self.
From top: Torkwase Dyson, Strange Fruit (Blue Note), 2015, acrylic on board; Romare Bearden, Prince Cinque (Maquette), 1976, felt pen with watercolor and collage on graph paper; Jas Knight, Autumn, 2015, oil on linen; Loren Holland, The Messenger, 2005, oil on paper; Noah Davis, Black Widow, 2007, acrylic and gouache on canvas; Nina Chanel Abney, Untitled, 2012. All images © the artists, courtesy the Estate of Peggy Cooper Cafritz, and Rizzoli.