Barbara Blackmun. 1928-2018
Barbara was born in Merced, California on June 29, 1928 and passed away on Friday, July 6, 2018. She was a resident of Kentucky at the time of her passing. She is the daughter of Walter Lafayette and Marian Lewelyn (Warner) Winston. She gained an extensive education at UCLA, receiving a bachelor’s in fine art, Doctor of Philosophy in Art History and a Master of Art in Art History at Arizona State University. Her focus was in the African arts, more specifically Ancient Benin ivory tusks. She specialized in the interpretation of iconography on carved ivory tusks from ancestral alters in Benin Nigeria; Authentication, Analysis and interpretation of ivories & bronzes from ancient Benin and of terracotta’s & bronzes from the Kingdom of Ife, in Nigeria.
Her career was extensive and diverse. She was a teacher in elementary and secondary schools in California and an instructor at; Malawi Polytechnic College, Blantyre, San Diego Mesa College, and University of California, Los Angeles. Continuing, she gained curatorial experience at Mesa college, and Chicago field Museum. She was a curatorial consultant for the Chicago Field Museum, that Chicago Art Institute, the Detroit Institute Art, the Museum for Voelkerkunde in Vienna, and the Ethnologists Museum in Berlin. She was also a national program director for the African American Institute in Malawi.
She was also a board member for many councils including; the African and African-American Studies Research Program at the University California in San Diego, San Diego Mesa College Foundation, contemporary arts committee at the San Diego art Museum, and the arts and crafts board at the University Malawi. She was also a founding member of the African Arts Council at the San Diego Art Museum.
Barbara will certainly live on through her important work. For her friends and colleagues her absence is not easily filled even by the memories of her grace and kindness. You are invited to attend a funeral service for Barbara Blackmun on Saturday, August 11th, at 11 am, at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church 533 East Main Street.