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Something for the Summer #7: Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective

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Gayle Anderson was live in Exposition Park to continue her SOMETHING FOR THE SUMMER series of reports at California African American Museum, where we can see the exhibition ERNIE BARNES: A RETROSPECTIVE.

For many fans of 1970s American television, Ernie Barnes’ (1938–2009) painting The Sugar Shack is no doubt instantly familiar. The 1976 work depicting a dance scene—which was the cover art for Marvin Gaye’s album I Want You—achieved cult status by regularly appearing on the hit sitcom Good Times, inspiring a community of television viewers who discussed it after each episode.

Barnes created some of the twentieth century’s most iconic images of African American life. He captured his observations of life growing up in North Carolina, playing professional football in the NFL (1960–1964), and living in Los Angeles.

Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective includes examples of his paintings of entertainment and music, and also highlights how Barnes, the official artist of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, extensively represented athletes and sports.

Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective
California African American Museum
600 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037

If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at

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