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James Earl Reid

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Information about James Earl Reid

Profile image of James Earl Reid

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Sculptor
Painter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fruit, Nuts
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
You're The Artist.

Birthplace

Born:
9/9/1942
Birth Location:
Princeton, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Sculptor
Painter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fruit, Nuts
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
You're The Artist.

Birthplace

Born:
9/9/1942
Birth Location:
Princeton
See how James Earl Reid is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Renowned sculptor James Earl Reid was born at Stump Hope Farm in Princeton, North Carolina, on September 9, 1942. In 1970, Reid was awarded his master’s degree in sculpture from the University of Maryland College Park.

While attending the University of Maryland, Reid worked as a graduate teaching assistant, and remained there after earning his M.A. degree, rising to become an assistant professor over the next eleven years. In 1979, Reid received his first major commission for a work of art when the City of Baltimore asked him to create a sculpture of jazz legend Billie Holiday, who spent her childhood there; the sculpture was unveiled in 1985 in the Druid Hill section of Baltimore.

The same year as the as the Billie Holiday sculpture's unveiling, Reid found himself in the center of a controversy that would take him to the United States Supreme Court. Commissioned by the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV), Reid had been asked to create a sculpture for a Washington, D.C., Christmas pageant; his submission, Third World America: A Contemporary Nativity, featured a homeless family holding a newborn child over a steam vent, and featured the words “And still there is no room at the inn,” on the base. The struggle with the piece began early, when initially the National Park Service refused to put the piece on display. The bigger issue, however, arose with the CCNV, when both they and Reid filed competing copyright claims on the work of art. After an initial District Court ruling favored CCNV, the case was taken to the Supreme Court, where Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote the decision in favor of Reid and all independent contractors; the case brought international attention to concerns for the rights of artists to retain creative and intellectual property.

After his landmark case settled, Reid continued to create works of art, holding numerous one-man shows and participating in many group shows.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Earl Reid's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid describes his maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about his father, John Lee Reid
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid talks about his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about his aunts and uncles
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid describes his siblings and moving to Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Earl Reid recalls learning about race and racism as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Earl Reid describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about the feeling of levitating as a child, pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid talks about the feeling of levitating as a child, pt.2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid talks about trying to maintain a childlike approach to art
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid describes his childhood drawings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid shares his elementary school memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid describes his favorite subjects and the various schools he attended
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid describes attending Southern High School in Cherry Hill, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid talks about his favorite musicians and television shows
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about studying art at Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid describes the advantage of drawing live models
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid talks about his early works of sculpture
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about his mother's reaction to his wanting to be an artist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid describes the Renaissance artists he admires
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid describes his activities at Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about winning a scholarship to Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes his mentors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about learning the Maroger technique
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid describes his attending Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid recalls the struggles he faced as a representational artist
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about successful contemporary realist artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid talks about Norman Rockwell, realism, and fine art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about attending and teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about working as an assistant to Pierre du Fayette in Columbia, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes attending graduate school at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about art critics and consumers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid talks about contemporary black artists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid talks about the inspiration for his 1972 piece, Portrait of the Artist as the Young Man, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid talks about the inspiration for his 1972 piece, Portrait of the Artist as the Young Man, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about his artwork dedicated to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about teaching at the University of Maryland at College Park
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid describes teaching at various colleges
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about being commissioned to sculpt Billie Holiday in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid describes his 1979 sculptures of Billie Holiday, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid describes his 1979 sculptures of Billie Holiday, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid describes how elements of his Billie Holiday sculptures were excluded
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid describes his art piece, Third World America
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid talks about his copyright disagreement over Third World America
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid talks about his activism
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid reflects upon his legal battle over Third World America
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Earl Reid describes how the 1989 Supreme Court case, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid impacted him
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Earl Reid describes his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Earl Reid comments on art featuring black historical figures
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Earl Reid expresses his regrets
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Earl Reid talks about his children
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James Earl Reid reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James Earl Reid reflects upon his artistry
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Earl Reid narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Earl Reid narrates his photographs, pt. 2