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Evangeline Montgomery

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Information about Evangeline Montgomery

Profile image of Evangeline Montgomery

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Printmaker
Curator
Mixed Media Artist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
April
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Northern California
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/2/1930
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Printmaker
Curator
Mixed Media Artist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
April
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Northern California
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/2/1930
Birth Location:
New York
See how Evangeline Montgomery is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Curator, printmaker, and mixed media artist Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery was born on May 2, 1930, in New York. Her mother, Carmelite Thompson, was a homemaker and her father, Oliver Thompson was a Baptist minister. She discovered her artistic talents when she received her first oil painting set at the age of fourteen. After her parents separated, Montgomery and her mother moved to Harlem in New York, New York. In 1951, Montgomery earned her high school diploma from Seward Park High School in lower Manhattan, where she was a cheerleader, a member of the swim and basketball teams and a member of student government.

From 1951 until 1954, she worked at statuaries, painting the faces on dolls and religious statues. In 1955, Montgomery moved to Los Angeles with her husband and worked for Thomas Usher, an African American jewelry designer. She received her B.F.A. degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in 1969 and she worked as an independent curator to museums, university galleries and art centers where she organized exhibits. In 1971, she served as the curator for the Rainbow Sign Gallery in Berkeley, California before becoming an exhibition specialist for the American Association for State and Local History in Nashville, Tennessee and coordinating eight national workshops on “Interpreting the Humanities through Museum Exhibits.” She also organized national exhibit workshops for the Association of African American Museums. In 1983, Montgomery began her career with the United States State Department as a program development officer for the Arts America Program, specializing in American exhibitions touring abroad. In this capacity, she developed and implemented successful American fine art programs in the United States and throughout the world. In her own art career, Montgomery is noted for her metal work, especially her metal ancestral boxes which were inspired by the Chinese incense boxes her mother used for praying. Her colorful lithographs have also garnered her attention, being prominently displayed in exhibitions funded by the United States government.

In 1997, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease which has made it difficult for Montgomery to work with metal. However, she has not let the diagnosis limit her artistic vision, instead shifting her focus to printmaking, lithographs, and the digital arts. In 2005, Blacks In Government (BIG) began the Evangeline J. Montgomery Scholarship Program, to encourage and fund artists who are interested in working in government to spread the influence of the arts.

Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2004.

See how Evangeline Montgomery is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evangeline Montgomery's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about being adopted
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about meeting Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her home life as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery describes memorable communities in which she grew up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her elementary school interests and aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her experience growing up as the daughter of a Baptist minister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her childhood activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her move to New York, New York after her parents' divorce
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her junior high school experiences at P.S. 43 in New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her experiences at Seward Park High School in New York, New York, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her experiences at Seward Park High School in New York, New York, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about relocating to Massachusetts with her mother after graduating from high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her employment in the art industry after graduating from high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her work in the jewelry field before attending Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery describes the process for designing jewelry with enamel
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her studio art experiences in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about being dissuaded from teaching art
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her impressions of art in Nigeria
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her experience of art exhibitions during the black studies movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about coordinating an exhibition on Sargent Claude Johnson's life and art
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon the impact of African American art in California during the black studies movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about curating African American ethnic art and at the Rainbow Sign Gallery in Berkeley and the Oakland Museum of California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her work for the American Association for State and Local History in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about working with the Association of African American Museums
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery describes the impetus for creating metal ancestral boxes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery describes how she came to work for the U.S. Information Agency as its program development officer for exhibitions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about notable African American artists with whom she worked
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her process for working in lithography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about the impact of technology on visual art processes and mediums
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about challenges faced by African American artists
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her visual art and metal pieces
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about the challenges she faces as an artist with Parkinson's disease
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her Blacks in Government scholarship fund, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about opportunities for African American artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about the demand for African American artwork
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her Blacks in Government scholarship fund, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon the importance of the arts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon her experiences as an artist and art administrator
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about inspirational artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon her artwork and artistic mediums
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Evangeline Montgomery describes her hopes for curating a book art installation in the future
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon her life and legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Evangeline Montgomery shares advice for pursuing a career as an artist
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Evangeline Montgomery talks about her role as art commissioner in San Francisco, California