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Southern Mansions II, 1996

Featured Article

Hammonds House Museum Presents "Donald Locke: Southern Mansions and Related Paintings from the 1990’s"

Photography by Photograph Courtesy of Hammonds House

Originally published in SOFU Lifestyle

“Southern Mansions and Related Paintings from the 1990s” will be presented at Hammonds House Museum through May 15, 2022. The exhibition is curated by Hammonds House Museum’s Executive Director and Chief Curator Karen Comer Lowe in collaboration with the Donald Locke Estate. Tickets are available by online registration only. Plan your visit at

“We are excited to present this exhibition of artwork by Donald Locke, not only because he is a world-renowned artist, but because the work was inspired by his time in Atlanta and his exploration of southern culture as it relates to the Black experience in America,” states Lowe. “Locke lived in Atlanta from 1990 until his death in 2010, and it had a major impact on his work.”

“In a medley of mixed-media often multi-paneled paintings, Locke offers us a visual autobiography. With influences of African, Asian, and European, he paints and collages canvas and paper with thoughts about his personal and social history. He layers his abstract cultural landscapes (with items such as) photos and photocopies, fur, alligator skin and velvet, old stove parts and tools, magazine cutouts and sheet music,” noted Cathy Byrdin Creative Loafing, 1999.

The above quote is a great introduction to Locke’s series at Hammonds House Museum. Born in the former British colony of Guyana, South America, in 1930, Locke was educated there and in the UK before emigrating to the U.S., first to Arizona, then settling in Atlanta in 1990. Although he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to create sculpture and installations, Locke had always been a writer and painter as well. By the mid-1990s, Locke’s paintings evoked aspects of the American south, and transcultural meanings were incorporated via visual clues, collaged images, and layered textures.

In the artist’s own words: “Some time after arriving in Atlanta, I began to produce work that was significantly different from anything I had done before… In retrospect, it appears that the work has always been trying to encompass and bend to the will of the imagination, every aspect of the life and experience of Black people in the New World—the landscapes they inhabit, their physical uniqueness, the folklore and myths which crowd their imagination, and the socioeconomic legacies they inherited from the past.

Hammonds House Museum is generously supported by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners through Fulton County Arts and Culture, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The National Performance Network, AT&T, and WarnerMedia.


Hammonds House Museum’s mission is to celebrate and share the cultural diversity and important legacy of artists of African descent. The museum is the former residence of the late Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, a prominent Atlanta physician and passionate arts patron. A 501(c)3 organization, the museum offers rotating exhibitions, artist talks, exhibition tours, arts education programs, family days, virtual programs, and other cultural events throughout the year. Located in a beautiful Victorian home in West End Atlanta, Hammonds House Museum is a cultural treasure and a unique venue.

For more information and to learn how you can support their mission and programming and become a member, visit

“Perhaps unique in the history of mankind, the Black man in the New World has been coerced in a harrowing agenda, the crossing of thousands of miles of cultural time in space of a few short generations. He has moved from captive African to slave, to free citizen of the New World, precariously clothed in a hybrid ethnicity, a ‘creole culture’ which, because of its dominant Negro-African component, is part of the New World's unique contribution to the civilization of modern man.” --Donald Locke

  • Southern Mansions II, 1996