Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Birmingham, Ala.)
Radcliffe Bailey Collection consists of the components to recreate Radcliffe Bailey's installation art and mixed media piece titled Altar for Four.
Altar for Four, 1994, is a memorial to the four young girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on 15 September 1963. The faces of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley are central to this altar. Bailey synthesizes elements that defined that time and place: fire hoses, shotguns, church, and music. John Coltrane's Alabama (also created after the bombing as a memorial pieces) plays quietly on a tape player concealed in a vintage radio. The altar invites reflection on the sacrifices made during the Civil Rights Movement, and most importantly, on the human element of that moment in history.
Radcliffe Bailey is a painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist. His works are often made from found objects and pieces from his past, including tintypes of his family members, piano keys, and Georgia red clay. His interests, which are explored in his work, include family history, African traditions, African Diaspora, slavery and freedom, historical and current events, music, and contemporary art techniques. Bailey's artwork is personal; he attempts to make his work so personal that it becomes universal.
Bailey was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey in 1968, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives and works today. Bailey received a BFA from Atlanta College of Art in 1991.
Bailey’s work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions, including those at the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture [now the Anacostia Community Museum] in Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Tryon Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; the Harriet Tubman Museum in Macon, GA; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA.
Smithsonian Libraries. 2013. "Kongo inspiration in contemporary art". Kongo Across the Waters. 395-409.
Smithsonian Libraries. 2014. "Bailey Radcliffe: United States". 11e Biennale De L'art Africain Contemporain = 11th Biennial of Contemporary African Art. 58-59.
Thompson, Carol. 2013. "Minkisi and dikenga in the art of Radcliffe Bailey: multiplied".Kongo Across the Waters. 377-384.
Tryon Center for Visual Art. 2001. Like a prayer: a Jewish and Christian presence in contemporary art, January 31st-June 1st, 2001. Charlotte, NC: Tryon Center for Visual Art.
Willis, Deborah, Leslie King-Hammond, and Halima Taha. 1999. Locating the spirit: religion and spirituality in African American art. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture.