Aminah Robinson was an African-American artist born in Columbus, Ohio. She was taught at an early age how to draw, sew, and weave by her parents. Robinson knew that she wanted to become an artist when she was very young. She created works from various media, including paintings on cloth, rag paintings, and “hogmawg,” which is a mixture of clay, mud, leaves, glue, animal grease, lime, leaves, and twigs. Many of her works are about her family and community. She also depicted musicians, writers, civil rights leaders, and abolitionists in her art. The philosophy behind her works is based on the African idea of Sankofa, understanding the past in order to move forward. She is well-known for the RagGonNon, a work of art that is usually on cloth and embellished with found objects such as beads and buttons.
Aminah Robinson, Afrikans Entering the Ohio Valley in 1200 AD,
Mixed media on paper, 21 x 55.5 inches
Aminah Robinson, One Day in 1307 AD: King Abubakari II, 1985-92
Button Beaded RagGonNon Music Box Pop-Up Book: cloth, thread, buttons, beads, paper, paint, graphite and music boxes,
55 x 155 inches
Robinson attended what is now known as the Columbus College of Art and Design, and many of her works focus on Columbus, primarily its African-American community. She fused her formal art education with folk traditions that she learned from her family. Museums and galleries all over the country have displayed her art, and she received numerous awards from arts organizations.
Amy Shirer ’18