Tina Knowles
Collector Questionnaire

Tina Knowles Lawson Builds a Collection and a Foundation to Support Black Art

Dominique Clayton: How did you begin to build your own collection?

Tina Knowles Lawson: I started collecting almost 35 years ago. I began by researching to find artists in my price range. I knew I wanted to support Black artists and use my collection to do so. It was a must that they be Black.

A work by Radcliffe Bailey. Image courtesy of Tina Knowles Lawson.

DC: Do you remember the first piece you purchased? 

TKL: The first real piece in my collection was a beautiful acrylic work on canvas of a beautiful African woman with a gorgeous head wrap by Charles Bibbs. I put it on lay-away at a gallery until I could purchase it as my first piece of artwork.

DC: What designers or artists are inspiring you right now?

TKL: I am loving contemporary artists right now like Toyin Ojih OdutolaBisa Butler, and Robert Pruitt. Of course, Mark Bradford—who is receiving the Art Icon Award at this year’s gala—is one of my favorites, even though he is way out of my league. He inspires me and is a dear friend doing wonderful work in the community.  

DC: What is the last piece you purchased?

TKL: A small, original work by artist Charles White, another favorite artist of mine. The purchase has been my dream for a long time.