The Gund


Beverly Buchanan

Beverly Buchanan (1940-2015) grew up in South Carolina and subsequently earned several university degrees in the sciences before beginning her career as a healthcare educator in New York. However, about two years later, in 1971, she enrolled at the Art Students League, where she studied with renowned painter Norman Lewis (1909-1979). From then on, Buchanan devoted her time to making art, eventually moving back to the South. It was here that she developed her practice of exploring Southern vernacular architecture. Buchanan used found wood scraps or sometimes foam core to build her “shacks,” a term she bestowed upon the sculptures. Whether inhabited or abandoned, her structures were meant to embody the spirit of those who lived there, what she referred to as “emotional groundings.” The winner of numerous honors during her long career, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Buchanan’s work is in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Whitney Museum, among others. Her recent retrospective Ruins and Rituals, held at the Brooklyn Museum in 2017, received high acclaim.