• Xenobia Bailey (1956- )
    Single Stitch Hand Crochet, cotton and acrylic yarn, and plastic pony beads, with metal frame
    Photo by Gina Fuentes Walker

  • Clementine Hunter (1886/1887-1988)
    Baby Jesus and Three Wise Men, c. 1960
    Oil on board; 17 x 25”
    Collection of American Folk Art Museum, New York
    Gift of Robert L. Marcus Family, 1999.21.1

  • Bessie Harvey (1929–1994)
    Black Rider of Revelation, 1985
    Paint and mixed media on wood
    American Folk Art Museum

  • William Edmonson (1870–1951)
    Preacher, 1935
    Limestone; 23 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 8 in.
    Frank H. McLung Museum The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

  • Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900–1980)
    New Jerusalem, c. 1957–1974
    Acrylic and/or tempera on metal lid
    American Folk Art Museum
    Gift of Bliss Carnochan in honor of Gerard C. Wertkin, American Folk Art Museum director (1991–2004)


  • Joyce J. Scott (1948– )
    Inkisi: St. John the Conqueror, 2009
    Collected glass bottles, glass beads, wire, thread, and coral; 18.5 x 24.5 x 18.5 in.
    Courtesy of Goya Contemporary

Ashe to Amen

African Americans and Biblical Imagery

February 15–May 26, 2013

Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery investigates the intersections and crossroads of aesthetics and belief in African American art. For more than two centuries, the Bible has been a catalyst for this multicultural and initially disenfranchised artistic community and has been inspiring the creation of sacred, spiritual, and religious spaces and identity. The exhibition's title takes its name from praise terms commonly used in African and African American communities. "Ashe", a Yoruba word, refers to the creative power of an artist to make something happen. "Amen" is an affirmation meaning essentially "so be it".  The visual continuum on display in Ashe to Amen presents the inventive, deeply personal, and ongoing interpretations of the Bible created by artists from the African American community.

Online Resources:

Full Exhibition Audio Guide

Exhibition Feature Video (below):












Major support for MOBIA’s exhibitions and programs has been provided by American Bible Society and by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.  Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery is made possible by the generous support of New York Theological Seminary, the National Endowment for the Arts, Jim and LaFaye Lewis, New York Amsterdam News, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Support for educational programs is provided, in part, by The New York Community Trust and TD Charitable Foundation.

Organized by MOBIA, Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery will be on view at MOBIA February 15 – May 26, 2013; at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture June 22 – September 29, 2013; and at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens October 20, 2013 – January 5, 2014.