Tina Knowles Lawson, who is known for her corny jokes on Instagram (but may also be recognized as the mom of powerhouse entertainers Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Solange Ferguson), recently shared her extensive art collection with Kimberly Drew for Vanity Fair’s September issue.
In the most anticipated issue of the year, Lawson gave a tour of her Hollywood home, sharing that she has been collecting art since her early days as a makeup artist in Los Angeles. “It was probably a reproduction, but it was so beautiful and it was in a frame,” said Lawson as she described her first major art purchase, a $500 abstract painting tucked inside of a Los Angeles furniture store, “I discovered then how important [art] is for your home. It made me feel good every day.”
She would later try her hand at bidding over the phone, a funny story that ended in the accidental purchase of a piece by Sam Gilliam and two Picasso lithographs. She details the incident saying, “I was like, ‘What did I do?’ I tried not to buy them, but they found me and they threatened to sue me.” It’s clear where her granddaughter Blue Ivy Carter gets her bidding skills from.
Her current collection features works by Hale Woodruff, Romare Bearden, and Charles Alston, who rose to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance, in addition to rising artists like Genevieve Gaignard and Toyin Ojih Odutola. “I love collecting and knowing the history of the artist,” Lawson shared, describing the relationship with her pieces as more spiritual than material.
While standing in front of a Kermit Oliver painting (above), she cited that he was the only American to design scarves for Hermès, while continuing his work at a Texas post office which, “kept him normal,” according to Lawson.
Beyond their extensive music catalogues, it’s clear that both Beyoncé and Solange inherited Miss Tina’s love for the fine arts. Earlier this year, Solange debuted Metatronia (Metatron’s Cube), an interdisciplinary performance project about the creative process, at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum, along with a highly sought after IKEA collaboration with her brand, Saint Heron, while big sis Beyoncé debuted her newest video, shot inside of the world renowned Louvre in Paris.
Both women have expressed the importance of self-representation through art—growing up surrounded by extraordinary artists will do that to you—and how the presence of powerful figures has been the foundation of molding them into who they are as individuals and entertainers. After the release of their grammy-award winning projects, Lemonade and A Seat At The Table, Solange told The New York Times, “If my sister and my project feels like an ‘awakening’ to some,” she continued, “I am constantly saying that we both grew up in a home with two words: Tina Knowles.”
Read more over at Vanity Fair or pick up the September issue.