Words by Katherine McGrath, Architectural Digest
As the mother of two artistically minded singer-songwriters, it should come as no surprise that Tina Knowles Lawson is herself a prolific art connoisseur. The mother of Grammy-winning artists Beyoncé and Solange recently welcomed Kimberly Drew, a curator and the social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, into her California home to share her personal art collection for Vanity Fair's September issue and the two discussed the significance of visual representation, Lawson's philosophy on collecting, the first work she purchased, and more.
I feel honored to be featured in Vanity Fair Magazine this month interviewed by the beautiful , talented Kimberly Drew @museummammy! I so enjoyed showing her my African-American art collection. She is a curator at the Met👏🏾👏🏾Link in my bio to read the article
A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on
Lawson made her first big art purchase at the age of 19, when she fell in love with an abstract painting at a furniture store. In hindsight, she realizes it was most likely a reproduction, but that painting showed her how good it felt to live with art. She made a point to collect and support African American artists, especially while raising her daughters. “I’m so happy that I did, because both of them are really aware of their culture, and I think a lot of that had to do with looking at those images every day, those strong images,” she tells VF. “I think it’s something to say that my introduction to art was Black art,” said Solange, in an interview with Surface magazine.
Among the artists in Lawson's collection are celebrated Harlem Renaissance painters, such as Hale Woodruff, Romare Bearden, and Charles Alston, mixed with works by emerging artists like Genevieve Gaignard and Toyin Ojih Odutola. A series of works by Robert Pruitt, her favorite contemporary artist, hung in her home for a while, until Beyonce "permanently borrowed" them.
While many collectors gravitate exclusively towards blue-chip artists and works that are poised to amass value over time, Lawson prefers to have what she calls a spiritual relationship, rather than a materialistic one, with her art. "I love collecting and knowing the history of the artist,” says Lawson, “I have a storage facility with [books on], probably, every African American artist’s history."
'If my sister and my project feels like an ‘awakening’ to some,' Solange told The New York Times, 'I am constantly saying that we both grew up in a home with two words: Tina Knowles.'
Feature Image: Instagram @World.Of.Beyonce.Xo