Samuel Louis Nicely (1947 - 2015) was an artist and educator who embraced his cultural heritage as an African American man from Appalachia. Born in Russellville, Tennessee, he developed a love for the arts at an early age and went on to earn a B.S. in art education from Middle Tennessee State University and to study at The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg. Nicely cofounded the From Africa to Applachian Foundation and was the Artist in Residence at the Reece Museum in 2014. In 2020, fifty works from Nicely's personal collection (seen below in the virtual catalogue) were bequeathed to the Reece Museum. These works represents Sammie Nicely's vision as a collector and artist, and form the foundation of this new Special Collection.
Please visit our Collections Portal to learn more.
A dedicated collection website for the Sammie L. Nicely Collection is coming in 2024! The collection has grown to 170 objects and counting. You can view the original fifty artifacts below in the catalog.