Dorian and Jeffrey Bergen are art collectors and gallerists. Their gallery, ACA (American Contemporary Art) Galleries, was established in 1932 and represents many important Old Masters and Modern, American and European artists. The focus of this article is their groundbreaking work in the promotion and preservation of African American art.
ACA Galleries has showcased the works of many African American artists. By featuring these artists in their gallery, they have helped to bring greater visibility and recognition to African American art, which has historically been marginalized in the art world. Among these artists, Charles White and Faith Ringgold stand out as two important figures whose contributions to American art and culture have been significant.
Charles White used his art to communicate important social issues, particularly those affecting African Americans. White was born in 1918 and grew up in an impoverished neighborhood in Chicago. He became an artist at an early age and was a member of The Arts and Crafts Guild, a group of young black artists who supported one anther by pooling their resources and sharing their knowledge. White received a scholarship at age 17 to attend the Art Institute of Chicago and later studied at the Art Students League in New York.
White was a Social Realist who art communicated important social issues. His work was visual poetry, depicting the struggles and triumphs of African American life. His message was conveyed in works that showcased his exquisite use of line, shape and tone. He employed muted tones of black and white, sepia and rich tonalities of reds and browns in his works. His ink on cardboard drawing, Preacher, was purchased by the Whitney Museum in 1952. His work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress.
Faith Ringgold is an African American artist who has made significant contributions to the art world and whose work has been featured at ACA. Ms. Ringold is known for her works that combine painting, quilting, and storytelling to explore themes related to race, gender, and identity. Ringgold’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions at prestigious institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. She is also a celebrated author and illustrator, having written and illustrated several children’s books. In addition to her artistic contributions, Ringgold has been an advocate for greater diversity and inclusivity in the art world. She has spoken out against discrimination and inequality.
The Bergens have also been actively involved in promoting art education and community engagement. They have hosted numerous exhibitions, lectures, and other events aimed at engaging the public and promoting greater understanding and appreciation of art. Through their work, they have helped to foster a greater appreciation for art and its ability to bring people together and inspire positive social change.
Dorian and Jeffry Bergen together have made a significant impact on society through their commitment to promoting art and supporting artists, particularly those from marginalized communities. Their work has helped to break down barriers and promote greater diversity and inclusivity in the art world, and their legacy continues to inspire and influence new generations of artists and art enthusiasts.