Feb 1, 2024 - Culture

Robinson's artistic legacy lives on

A historical marker for Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson outside her home, with colorfully-painted doors.

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson's home studio in the Shepard neighborhood. Photo: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

Our Franklin County Historical Marker Tour takes us to one of the most creative homes in Columbus.

The marker: Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Home Studio and Artist's Residence at 791 Sunbury Road.

Flashback: Robinson moved here in 1974 while working as an art teacher for the city's parks department and became a full-time artist in 1991.

  • She worked in many different media as a painter, drawer, sculptor and author, with works often dedicated to Black history and culture.

The intrigue: Robinson was known for large multimedia pieces she called "RagGonNons," made from various items like buttons, cloth and music boxes.

  • Robinson hoped they would "rag on and on," with viewers' interpretations continuously growing and changing.

Upon her death in 2015, Robinson donated her works and home to the Columbus Museum of Art.

  • The museum later established the Aminah Robinson Legacy Project, which preserves her art and uses the home as a residency for Black artists and writers.

What they're saying: "By the time I reached 9 years old, I was deep, deep into transforming and recording the culture of my people into works of art," she wrote in a journal later quoted in a New York Times obituary.

  • "The magnitude of research and study of Afro-Amerikans is what I have dedicated my life. My works are the missing pages of American history."

4️⃣1️⃣ down, 87 to go.

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Thanks to our series sponsor Ohio History Connection. Sponsorship has no influence on editorial content.

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