Spotlight: Alitash Kebede, Among The Top Five Black Women In The Art World

Alitash Kebede was the long-time proprietor of a gallery in Los Angeles, Currently, her consultancy business manages collections and appraisal services for corporate and private clients, and organizes exhibitions that travel to museums across the United States and throughout the world. - Forbes (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: September 23rd, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — Last week, Forbes magazine featured Alitash Kebede among “the top five Black women you should know in the art world.”

The short list was selected by Alaina Simone who is a prominent African-American art curator and consultant “known for championing the work of Al Loving, Ed Clark, Emilio Cruz, Herbert Gentry, Richard Mayhew and Nanette Carter, among other artists.”

Forbes notes that “Alitash Kebede was the long-time proprietor of a gallery in Los Angeles, Currently, her consultancy business manages collections and appraisal services for corporate and private clients, and organizes exhibitions that travel to museums across the United States and throughout the world.”

From Simone: “Alitash Kebede had one of the first auctions at Christie’s that was centered around her collection of artists of the African diaspora in 2008. She opened my eyes to the movement of art on the market. Since 2008, prices for black artists have soared at auction houses. Alitash was one of the first dealers to represent Kehinde Wiley, among many other art stars.”


Alitash Kebede with Ethiopian American artist Tariku Shiferaw. (Courtesy photo)

Alitash, who was born and raised in Ethiopia, is a groundbreaker in the African-American as well as the African Diaspora art communities and one of only a handful of women in her industry. Alitash points out that she also works with artists outside this genre. According to her bio: “Alitash Kebede opened her first gallery in 1994 after working as a private dealer for 10 years. The gallery earned a reputation for being a source for first time and seasoned collectors, as well as for being a supporter of artists working in a variety of media. At the gallery. Kebede presented the first solo exhibitions in Los Angeles of numerous New York artists including: Al Loving, Ed Clark, Emilio Cruz, Herbert Gentry, Richard Mayhew and Nanette Carter, among others. Author Terry McMillan had her first book signing for her debut novel Mama at the gallery in 1987, and later the gallery provided art for the movie based on McMillan’s novel, How Stella Got Her Groove Back.”

As Alitash told Tadias previously the American artist, author, and songwriter “Romare Bearden along with the pioneer Ethiopian artist Skunder Boghossian was an inspiration for my venture into the art world…I feel so fortunate to be associated with [two] of the most innovative artists of the 20th century.”

Related:

Under The Radar: The Top Five Black Women You Should Know In The Art World (Forbes)

Alitash Kebede on Romare Bearden’s 100th Birthday Exhibition at Macy’s

Four Generations of Black Women Artists in California: Exhibition by Alitash Kebede

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