Anderson Pigatt (1928-2009)

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Anderson_PigattAnderson Pigatt was born in Raeford, North Carolina, October 20, 1928. He received vocational training in general woodworking and carpentry at George Washington Carver High School. Pigatt served in the United States Army in 1950-55; studied cabinetmaking on the G.I. Bill after leaving the military; and apprenticed under James W. Leach, Baltimore, Maryland in refinishing and repairing period antique furniture.

Pigatt performed free-lance work in New York after 1963, working for firms such as Worldwide Antiques, Leonard’s Antique Gallery, Knapp and Seigal Antiques, et al. Restoration experience includes work on Chippendale, Jacobean, Sheraton, Queen Anne and other types of collections.

Anderson launched his sculpture career late in 1960’s. A self-taught sculptor, his work is represented in a number of private and institutional collections.

“Nigger Chained” a seminal work is in the permanent collection of the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Other sculptures are in the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD; and the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD.

Mr. Pigatt participated in exhibitions sponsored by the American Federation of Fine Arts, the Urban Center of Columbia University, the Harlem Council and Bell Telephone Company. From December, 1967-1976, his work was exhibited in such venues as the Empire State Building, Observation Tower, New York, NY; The Pam Am Building, New York, NY; the Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; Columbia University, New York, NY; Elma Lewis School of Fine Art, Dorchester, MA; University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Milliken University, Decatur, IL; Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery, Reading, PA; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; and the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL.

Significant exhibitions include: “Black New Artists of the 20th Century: Selections from the Schomburg Center Collections”, 1970; traveling exhibitions “New Black Artists”, 1971 and “Black Art – Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African-American Art”, 1989-91.

Anderson’s work was favorable reviewed and commented upon by such notables as John Canady of The New York Times on October 8, 1969, with a headline stating “Sculpture Is Strength of ‘New Black Artists’ Show” and Robert Taylor of the Boston Globe on November 22, 1973 with the headline “Anderson Pigatt’s sculpture seen in ‘Speaking Spirits’”. Other comments and accolades come from correspondence from Thomas W. Leavitt, Director of the Herbert f. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Joseph V. Noble, Vice Director for Administration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and Dr. Robert Bishop, Director of Museum of American Folk Art in New York.

Mr. Pigatt was selected to participate in the exhibition and publication, Black Art Ancestral Legacy, sponsored by the Dallas Museum of Art, which showed at the High Museum in Atlanta, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond. His work has been purchased by such notables as Singer Richie Havens, artists Andy Warhol and John Biggers.