The portrait of Lorenzo James Taylor, Jr. by the artist Charles McGee was purchased in the late 60s for a few dollars. But even in the festival days, when no one had a lot of money, McGee was great and Taylor had an eye for what was fine in art.
The drawing (shown here) recently hung in the entry of the “Taylor Room” at Arts Extended Gallery which was co-founded by a group of 14 teachers in 1958.
Lorenzo Taylor died quietly May 3 after a short stay in the hospital where he had gone for treatment of an old ailment. He had never been an artist. He was a very private man.
Over a period of nearly 50 years, he supported artists and collected their work. He was passionate about African art and knew it well.
Even as he shied away from public attention, he readily opened up his home for organized groups to tour his “three floors of galleries.”
As a tribute to his life as a collector and benefactor to the art life of our city, a commemorative exhibition is being organized to open September 1, 2015, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This date would have marked his 90th birthday.