The International Review of African American Art, Vol. 27 No. 4 (2017)


Celebrating 150 Years of Art at Howard University
Published in 2017, this 64–page volume of the Hampton University Museum’s The International Review of African American Art is dedicated to the Howard University Gallery of Art collection and the legacy of sustained excellence in art at Howard. Included in this issue are many color and black & white photographs of artists’ works, with very insightful commentaries by highly respected art reviewers.

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Vanessa D. Thaxton–Ward, Ph.D.

Guest Editor
Gwendolyn Harris Everett, Ph.D.

Executive Publisher
William R. Harvey, Ed.D.

The 150th anniversary of the founding of Howard University provides an occasion to celebrate the extraordinary history of art on campus. Chartered by Congress on March 2nd, 1867, as a “University for the education of youth in the liberal arts and sciences,” Howard was named for Civil War General Oliver Otis Howard, one of its founders and its third president (1869–1873). Its first schools were a preparatory school, a liberal arts college, a theological school, a law school and a medical school. At its founding, Howard accepted women at a time when they were excluded from most liberal arts colleges and professional schools. The coeducational student body also was racially and ethnically diverse, there were whites and Asian, Caribbean and Native American students. Howard University was perhaps the most integrated university at the time in the United States, and the University’s original seal seems to “visualize” this “democratic” concept as different races are shown along with the motto: “Equal rights and knowledge for all.”

Aptly titled “Visualizing Legacy: Celebrating 150 Years of Art at Howard,” this issue features selected articles that profile the legacy of artistic achievement and sustained excellence in art at Howard. The cover image Chieftain’s Chair (1966), by Howard alumnus David C. Driskell, speaks to notions of ritual, memory, tradition and cultural pride that resonate in the legacies at Howard. The swirls, curving and calligraphic forms in the intricately designed composition seem to echo the iron–work designs in metal fences, gates and balconies in Southern cities and upper–Southern cities like Washington; one can see excellent examples on Howard’s campus. Driskell also drew inspiration from selections of African art in the permanent collection from Alain Locke’s bequest, and from seeing an exhibition of paintings Porter created following a research year in Nigeria, West Africa. As the title implies, Driskell’s interpretation of a seat or chair reserved for royalty is as much a “nod to West African forms as it is to Queen Anne or Chippendale designs.” This embrace of cultural hybridity, while recognizing visual legacies and historical narratives is reflected in many of the articles in this issue.

This issue considers the conceptual framework of “intentionality” in shaping the African and African American art collections to represent a collective “visual legacy” of the art experience at Howard. It serves as a testament to the legacy of General Howard’s Picture Gallery, James V. Herring’s vision of an Art Department and Gallery of Art on campus, the tenacity and steadfastness of scholars and benefactors James A. Porter and Alain Locke, and to the subsequent directors and benefactors who “visualized” a legacy of artistic excellence at Howard.

—Excerpt from “From the Guest Editor—Visualizing Legacy: Celebrating 150 Years of Art at Howard University” by Gwendolyn Harris Everett, Ph.D.

Feature Articles and Contributors:

“From the Guest Editor—Visualizing Legacy: Celebrating 150 Years at Howard University”, Gwendolyn Harris Everett, Ph.D.

“Adaptable Legacies: Alain Locke’s African Art Collection at Howard University”, Tobias Wofford, Ph.D.

“New Vistas: Loïs Mailou Jones’ and James A. Porter’s American Modernisms”, John Tyson, Ph.D.

“Sustaining a Catalytic Tradition: The James A. Porter Colloquium Approaches 30”, Melanee C. Harvey, Ph.D.

“An Art of Agency or ‘Black Art’: Jeff Donaldson and the Howard University Department of Art”, Edward Jesse Shaw, Ph.D.

“Starmanda Bullock: Cosmic Collective Memory”, Lisa E. Farrington, Ph.D.

“Personal Flights: The Fantastic Uniscapes and Heavenly Horizons of Peter Robinson Jr.”, Scott W. Baker

“Portraying Howard’s History Through Stained–Glass Windows in Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel”, Akili Ron Anderson

Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge Inspires Hirshhorn–Howard Collaboration”, Evelyn C. Hankins, Ph.D.

“Artists and Scholars Compare Perspectives on Washington’s Art Scene”, Therese O’Malley, Ph.D.

“Howard Alumnae Shine in Abstract Art Exhibition”,
Virginia Treanor, Ph.D.

“Current and Upcoming Museum Exhibitions: Exploring the Work of African American Artists”, George–McKinley Martin

Bibliographic Details

Title:                                      The International Review of African American Art

Publisher:                            The Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia

Publication Date:              2017

Binding:                                Pictorial Softcover

Book Condition:                Excellent

Book Type:                          Quarterly Magazine

Shipping Terms:

All books are padded and wrapped carefully.  Most are shipped in a box, unless very small, in which case they will be shipped in a padded envelope.


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