Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Dyson Year In Review 15-16

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences - Year in Review 2011-2012

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he Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, DC, plays a special role in honoring great Americans who have defined our past and shape our future. The collection of portraiture puts faces to the names of people whose achievements in the arts, the sciences, politics, performance, and activism form our national identity and characterize what it means to be an American. Counted amongst these portraits is Fred, a painting made by art professor Jane Dickson, which the museum acquired in 2015. Who is Fred? Fred is a hip hop impresario, musician, painter and former Yo MTV Raps VJ, Fab 5 Freddy, né Fred Braithwaite. He was a key figure in the 1980s New York City art scene, a fecund period that produced artists and thinkers like Dickson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jessica Hagedorn, Philip Glass, and Susan Sarandon, among many others. Painted in acrylic on textured vinyl, Dickson made the painting in 1982 while she worked alongside her filmmaker husband Charlie Ahearn and Braithwaite on Wild Style, the groundbreaking film about hip hop. 2015–16 | 17

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