An exhibition of work by Lamar Dodd School of Art professor Joseph Norman, Out at Home!, paid tribute to African American baseball players in the Negro League who were barred from playing in the major leagues during the segregation era. Norman was honored alongside baseball legend Hank Aaron at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in conjunction with a Major League Baseball and Annual Hank Aaron Weekend celebration.
In attendance at the event was Carolyn Young, wife of former UN ambassador Andrew Young, who invited Norman to deliver a lecture on December 5, 2017 at the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum. At this event, Norman and Aaron discussed how racism and bigotry once sullied the favorite American pastime.
Throughout the lecture, the two recalled the history and tall tales of some of the great legends of the game, including Jackie Robinson, Sachel Paige and Josh Gibson. Norman also acknowledged four Dodd undergrads and recent graduates who were in attendance and showing support: Hannah Duggan, Young Lim Lee, Haslam Welsh, and Gunnar Tarsa. Following the lecture, Maurita Poole, curator of the Clark Atlanta Art Museum, announced the purchase of Norman’s heroic lithographic portfolio, Out at Home: The Negro Baseball League, Volume I, commenting, “It is a welcomed addition to our already outstanding permanent collection." The exhibition, The Great American Pastime, will remain on view through December. The President of Clark Atlanta and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Ronald A. Johnson, were also in attendance at the event, as well as the University's baseball team.
A wonderful honor for professor Norman. Artistic tributes to the past ring with a shared reverence and respect that live on in a form that enlightens as it brings joy. That these works will now be a part of the CAU museum permanent collection is a great distinction for Norman and the Dodd, Franklin College and UGA.
Image: UGA art professor Joseph Norman with students and former amabassador Andrew Young, seated.