“Overlooked” no longer: Aminah Robinson in NYT
The New York Times pays full tribute to Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, a onetime Columbus College of Art & Design student and MacArthur Genius, died 2015, but it was not until February 2021 that The New York Times paid full tribute to the late artist. The feature came as part of the publication’s “Overlooked” series, which it describes as “a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in the Times.”
Born in Columbus in 1940, Robinson took Saturday Morning Art Classes at CCAD (then the Columbus Art School) before formally enrolling as an undergraduate in 1957. In 2004, Robinson was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, an award reserved for “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction,” and in 1991, she was given an honorary master’s degree by former CCAD President Joseph V. Canzani.
Robinson, “believed that life for her people in America was an act of near-superhuman perseverance, and she was determined to capture that history in every medium she could,” said the Times.
In a 2011 interview with CCAD, Robinson attributed her renowned work ethic to her time at the college. And it was in her second year as a CCAD student that she began work on a form called RagGonNons, which became her signature form. RagGonNons are complex works based in fabric—but incorporating other media—that continued to evolve over the years. The monumental mixed-media pieces were so named, said the Times, because they “would ‘rag on and on’ over time, as she encrusted them with beads, thread and even, say, shells, to communicate an abiding spiritual connection to Black history and identity.”
Read more about Aminah Robinson in this feature from The New York Times.
Columbus Museum of Art’s exhibition Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals, is on view through October 3, 2021.