The Xavier University Art Collection exists as a resource to encourage the appreciation and understanding of artists and art forms through a focus on the historical, cultural and social contexts of art, through methods of teaching practical and experiential learning. The Collection is dedicated to acquiring, preserving, documenting, and interpreting visual culture through a broad range of exhibitions and educational programs organized through the Xavier Art Gallery, while maintaining its collections for future generations of students and visitors.
The Xavier University Art Collection is committed to the preservation of work by artists from Africa and the African diaspora and the education of both the Xavier University community and the community at large about the history and evolution of African art. The Collection includes some of the most extraordinary works by African and African American artists in the world. It is comprised of the collections of such donors as Blanche and Norman C. Francis, the Bishop Moses Anderson, Audreon Bratton, John Henderson, Dr. James Blackwell, and the Brandywine Print Workshop, and features a diverse array of work and disciplines, from West African ceremonial artifacts to masterpieces by artists such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett.
The main purpose of the collection is to showcase works by important artists of the African diaspora, and to maintain them so that they may be used for educational and cultural awareness purposes. Our current audience is as multifaceted as the collection: members of the Xavier community, students of all ages and levels, who learn about the history of the pieces and are inspired by them artistically, as well as other artists and the community at large. These collections are an exceptional resource, as they set up a narrative about the history of African art, its development, and its influence on art today.