The North Carolina Central University Art Museum is North Carolina's premier museum of African American art. It is known especially for its 19th-century masterpieces, such as Robert Scott Duncanson's "Cottage Pass Opposite Ben Lomond" (1866), and works by other masters such as Edward Mitchell Bannister and Henry Ossawa Tanner. Work in the permanent collection is the foundation for major exhibitions, programs and publications and is open for research and study.
The 20th-century segment of the collection includes a generous number of artists active during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 1930s and the WPA period that followed.
The exceptional works of Richmond Barthe, Romare Bearden, Robert Blackburn, Selma Burke, Hale Woodruff, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett and Norman Lewis are among those found in the permanent collection. Although these names resonate with the aforementioned time period, the permanent collection includes works from much later periods as well.
The permanent collection also contains a number of contemporary works produced during the latter part of the 20th century. Among artists active in the last half of the century are Sam Gilliam, Barkley Hendricks, Caryl Henry, Geoffrey Holder, Richard Hunt, Juan Logan, Al Loving, Miriam Schapiro, William Artis, Minnie Evans, Pheoris West and Kerry James Marshall.