Purchasing works of art for a museum or gallery might seem like an exclusive, high stakes enterprise that takes place in a largely hidden world of money, access and fame.
Indeed, sometimes it is, but the more you know, the less mysterious and more accessible the business of art acquisition is. And 16 Lehigh students who took ART275: Museum Collections and Exhibitions in the Spring 2023 semester not only learned the behind-the-scenes business of museums and galleries, but became participants by going to New York City to choose and purchase a work for Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG).
As a result, Lehigh now owns a large, evocative sculptural piece by Lauren Halsey, a rising contemporary artist and activist from Los Angeles, who uses architecture and installation art to explore the life of urban neighborhoods, the idea of community and the Black experience. The 4-by-8 untitled relief sculpture features images of heads and hairstyles inspired by the barber shops and advertisements of Halsey’s community carved into a canvas of gypsum.