• Biography

Early Life

Bert L. Long, Jr. was born in Houston, Texas in 1945. He was the son of a Baptist minister and a schoolteacher. Growing up, he was exposed to the arts and culture of the city, which would later influence his work. He attended the University of Houston, where he studied painting and sculpture. After graduating, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in the arts.


In New York, Long quickly established himself as a prominent figure in the art world. He was a founding member of the African-American artist collective Spiral, which was formed in 1965. Through Spiral, Long was able to showcase his work in galleries and museums across the country. He was also a part of the Black Arts Movement, which sought to create a platform for African-American artists to express themselves.

Long's work was heavily influenced by his upbringing in Houston. He often used found objects and everyday items to create his sculptures, which often featured themes of African-American identity and culture. His work was featured in numerous exhibitions, including the Whitney Biennial in 1974 and the Venice Biennale in 1980. He was also the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1975 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in 1981.


Long's work has had a lasting impact on the art world. He was a pioneer in the African-American art movement, and his work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and collections. He was also a mentor to many young artists, and his influence can still be seen in the work of contemporary African-American artists.

Long passed away in 2013, but his legacy lives on. He is remembered as a groundbreaking artist who pushed the boundaries of art and helped to create a platform for African-American artists to express themselves. His work continues to inspire and influence artists around the world.

Date modified: Apr 8, 2023
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