By the time I reached nine years old, I was deep, deep into transforming and recording the culture of my people into works of art. The magnitude of research and study of Afro-Amerikans is what I have dedicated my life to. My works are the missing pages of American history.
—Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Known for works inspired by the Ghanaian concept of Sankofa, which means to retrieve the past, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson lived and worked in Columbus, Ohio creating sculpture, large multimedia works she called RagGonNons, paintings, drawings, prints, button-beaded dolls, handmade books and illustrated journals. She also published children’s books grounded in African American ancestral legacies.
When Robinson passed away in 2015, she left her estate to the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA). In 2020, the Museum established the Aminah Robinson Legacy Project to increase awareness of her work and place Robinson in the pantheon of the most important 20th and 21st century American artists where she deservedly belongs.
Highlights of the Legacy Project include the 2020-2021 exhibition, Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals and its accompanying award-winning catalog; renovation of the artist’s Columbus, Ohio home studio funded by a generous grant from The Columbus Foundation; establishment, in partnership with the Greater Columbus Arts Council, of an annual three-month residency for African American artists from across the country to live and work in Robinson’s home studio; an annual three-month fellowship for local African American artists to work in Robinson’s home studio; and establishment of an annual three-month residency for African American writers, researchers and scholars from across the country to live and work in Robinson’s home studio.
Since 2020, CMA has awarded fellowships to three artists: Don “DonCee” Coulter in 2020, Wendy Kendrick in 2021 and Richard Duarte Brown in 2022. In 2021, the Legacy Project welcomed its first Artist in Residence, Johnathan Payne. In 2022, the Legacy Project welcomed its first Writer in Residence, Darlene Taylor and its second Artist in Residence, Anthony Peyton Young.
The Aminah Robinson Residency and Fellowship program is the first and only one of its kind that is part of the Alliance of Artists Communities (AAC) network set in the former home of a female African American artist. AAC is an international association of artist residencies – more than 1,500 programs worldwide that support artists of any discipline in the development of new work.