Amaki, Amalia K. 1949-

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Amaki, Amalia K. 1949-


Born 1949. Education: Georgia State University, B.A., 1971; University of New Mexico, B.A., 1980; Emory University, Institute of Liberal Arts, M.A., 1992, Ph.D., 1994.


Office—Department of Art, University of Alabama, 103 Garland Hall, Box 870270, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, artist, educator, curator. Spelman College, Atlanta, GA, instructor, 1987-89, 1992-93, lecturer, 1994-98, assistant professor, 1999-2000, guest curator, Museum of Fine Art, 1997-98; Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, adjunct instructor, 1990, 1994; Morehouse College, Atlanta, instructor, 1989-91; Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, adjunct instructor, 1993; North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, assistant professor, 1998-99; University of Delaware, Newark, assistant professor and curator, Paul R. Jones Collection, 2000-06; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, professor of art history, 2007—. Curator of various exhibitions, including "African Art in the Paul Jones Collection." Numerous grants and commissions for artworks, including mixed media quilts. Juror and panel member for numerous arts committees and exhibitions. Exhibitions: Numerous solo exhibitions in Georgia and elsewhere, including "Amaki: Latest Works," McIntosh Gallery, Atlanta, 1997; "Delights," Sandler Hudson Gallery, Atlanta, 2001; and "In a Red Knowing," National Museum for Women in the Arts and Spelman College, Atlanta, 2006. Has also participated in numerous group shows. Works included in the permanent collections at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, University of Delaware, Newark, Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA, Hammonds House Galleries, Atlanta, and Tubman Museum, Macon, GA, among others.


College Art Association; High Museum of Art; High Museum of Art Photo Forum; Hammonds House Galleries; Friends of The Clark Atlanta University Collection.


(Editor) A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, University Museum (Newark, DE), 2004.

(With Andrea Barnwell Brownlee) Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, and the Academy, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art (Atlanta, GA), 2007.

Contributor to numerous catalogues, scholarly works, and periodicals, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Amalia K. Amaki is an artist best known for her mixed-media quilt works that honor African-American women. In creating these, she works in fabrics as well as with photographs. She is also well known as an artist for her art-photo button assemblages. Her large fabric quilts are included in the permanent collections of many museums and have been commissioned for corporate office buildings, such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, many of which are located in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grew up. Amaki began selling artwork while still in middle school, and throughout high school she continued to work on art projects. After entering college she majored in journalism. Following graduation she worked briefly for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but it did not take her long to realize that her real career interests lay in the field of art. She returned to school, eventually earning a doctorate in art. Before becoming a professor at the University of Alabama, she taught for several years at the University of Delaware, where she was also the curator of the Paul R. Jones Collection. Jones, an African American, was active in the civil rights movement and was a deputy director of the Peace Corps in Thailand. He was also an avid collector of artworks by both well-known and lesser-known African-American artists. His goal was to gather a collection that could begin to establish a new balance of such work in art museums and galleries where black artists had traditionally been overlooked. The sixty-six works in his private collection include art by Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, and Romare Bearden, among others, and photography by Prentice H. Polk and Carrie Mae Weems. Amaki met Jones while she was a student, when she sought to borrow some of his pieces for a show at Emory University. Ultimately their relationship blossomed into a friendship, leading to the establishment of a home for Jones's collection at the University of Delaware.

In A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, Amaki, as the book's editor, highlights the black artists whose works Jones collected, using more than one hundred color plates. Donna Seaman, writing in Booklist, felt that A Century of African American Art was a "beautifully produced book" with "perceptive essays and useful artist biographies." Library Journal contributor Edward K. Owusu-Ansah found it a "unique book," and praised Amaki's introduction, remarking that it "provides context for a wonderful visual and intellectual experience."



Brownlee, Andrea Barnwell, editor, Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues, National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), 2005.


Booklist, February 1, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, p. 933.

Choice, April, 2005, M.R. Vendryes, review of A Century of African American Art, p. 1385.

Library Journal, March 1, 2005, Edward K. Owusu-Ansah, review of A Century of African American Art, p. 82.


Sandler Hudson Gallery Web site, (January 15, 2008), "Amalia K. Amaki: Biography."

University of Alabama, Department of Art Web site, (January 15, 2008), "Amalia K. Amaki."

University of Delaware Messenger Online, (January 15, 2008), Beth Thomas, "Artist, Art Historian Prepares Book on Paul Jones Collection."

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Amaki, Amalia K. 1949-

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