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African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive

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14542331_1249912321697421_276043110044908085_o

Written by
Gustavo Grandal Montero
Published date
01 November 2016

As October and Black History Month http://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/ come to an end, we highlight the African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive, part of the Special Collections at Chelsea College of Arts Library, and look back to the visits hosted during the last few weeks, co-organised with the Arts Students’ Union. The Special Collections at Chelsea College of Arts Library are used for teaching, learning, research and curating, and have a strong emphasis on modern and contemporary art. They include artists’ books and magazines, multiples, ephemera and archives. For a complete list and more details see: http://www.arts.ac.uk/study-at-ual/library-services/collections-and-archives/chelsea/

The archive contains a wide range of material documenting the work of contemporary artists practicing in Britain and of African-Caribbean, Asian and African descent. The collection was established in 1985 by Liz Ward and has links with the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), the Diversity Art Forum (previously the African and Asian Visual Artists Archive) at the University of East London, and Panchayat, University of Westminster. Items in the archive date from 1970, with a in-depth coverage of the 1980s. It includes the archive of The Peoples Gallery (1984-87). Extent: 12 boxes. All the published materials are listed on the library catalogue: https://libsearch.arts.ac.uk/?sk=en_UK

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Arts SU visit to the African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive (Image courtesy Arts SU)

‘Recordings: a select bibliography of contemporary African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian British art’ by Melanie Keen and Liz Ward (London: Iniva, 1996) documents the collection up to 1996, and includes indexes to artists, exhibitions, publications, etc. It’s a key guide to the primary materials and source information on the work of a large range of artists, many poorly documented elsewhere.

The African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive can be accessed by appointment (contact: Gustavo Grandal Montero; Tel: 020 7514 7901; Email: g.grandal-montero@chelsea.arts.ac.uk) and group visits and seminars can be arranged. You can see images from the recent visits co-organised with the Arts Students’ Union here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/artssulondon/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1249912068364113 

Arts SU visit to the AACA Archive

African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive visit in October 2016 (Image courtesy Arts SU)

The African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art in Britain Archive is a national and international research resource and has been featured in a number of international exhibitions, more recently in the exhibition ‘The 1980S: Today’s Beginnings?’ (16/04/2016 – 25/09/2016) at the Van Abbemuseum, as part of the “Thinking Back. A montage of Black Art in Britain” section, curated by Nick Aikens:  https://vanabbemuseum.nl/en/programme/programme/the-1980s/