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Napoleon Jones-Henderson

Napoleon Jones-Henderson was born in 1943 in Chicago, Illinois. Jones-Henderson attended the Sorbonne Student Continuum Student and Artists Center in Paris, France in 1963 where spent one year immersed in an independent study program. Upon returning to the United States, he enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago and received his B.F.A. degree from there in 1971. Jones-Henderson went on to earn with his M.A. degree from Northern Illinois University in 1971 and his M.F.A. degree from the Maryland Institute College Art in 2005.

In 1968, during the apex of the Chicago Black Arts Movement, Jones-Henderson became involved with a Chicago-based artists’ collective called COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists). The collective changed their name in 1969 to AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists). During the formative years of AfriCOBRA, Jones-Henderson created large pictorial weavings that were included in the group’s important series of exhibitions mounted at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the early 1970s. He has been an active member of AfriCOBRA since 1969 and is the longest standing member of the group. In 2011, Jones-Henderson produced Africobra: Art for the People (2011), a documentary about the groups’ involvement with the 1960s Black Arts Movement.

Jones-Henderson became the Executive Director of the Research Institute of African and African Diaspora Arts, Inc., in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1979. He then went on to serve in various academic positions at Malcolm X College in Chicago, the Massachusetts College of Arts, Emerson College in Boston. Jones Henderson was appointed adjunct artist critic and lecturer at the Vermont College of Norwich University in Montpelier, Vermont in 1989. In addition, Jones-Henderson served as an artist-in-residence at Towson University, Syracuse University, and the McDonough School. In 2005, Jones-Henderson was appointed associate professor of art at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. His artwork is housed at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Schomburg Cdner of Research in Black Culture, Southside Community Art Center, Hampton University Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

In recognition of his art, Jones-Henderson received the Merit of Honor Award from the Walters Art Museum and the Award for Outstanding Recognition from the Museum of Science and Industry. He was also honored by the National Conference of Artists with the Award of Excellence.

Napoleon Jones-Henderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.009

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/22/2013

Last Name

Jones-Henderson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

George Washington Carver High School

Wilson Junior College

Shore Shore Junior College

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Northern Illinois University

Maryland Institute College of Art

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Napoleon

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

JON32

Favorite Season

All Seasons Except Winter

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

History Does Not Make Appointments.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

11/23/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Lima)

Short Description

Mixed media artist Napoleon Jones-Henderson (1943 - ) is director of the Research Institute of African and African Diaspora Arts Inc. and associate professor of art at Benedict College, is the longest standing member of AfriCOBRA.

Employment

Research Institute of African and African Diaspora Arts, Inc.

Benedict College

Vermont College

Emerson College

Roxbury Community College

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Favorite Color

All Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Napoleon Jones-Henderson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his maternal grandfather's migration from Alabama to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about the history of Juneteenth and Emancipation Day celebrations across the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his father's life in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his memories of growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his father's World War II service and how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson explains the origin of his first and last names

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls the Hall Library, Regal Theater, and Museum of Science and Industry on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls moving to Chicago's Altgeld Gardens community and attending George Washington Carver High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about Pan-Africanist scholar Frederic H. Hammurabi Robb and about Chicago's Chicken Man, Anderson Punch

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls his teachers at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls his teachers at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls his elementary school years in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his educators at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois including principal Curtis C. Melnick

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the Altgeld Gardens community of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the Altgeld Gardens community of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his extracurricular activities at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson remembers Sammy Davis, Jr.'s performance at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois, and learning to dance

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes preparing for college as a student at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls receiving a scholarship from the Jewel Tea Company to attend Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his decision to attend junior college and continue working for Jewel Tea Company after graduating from high school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes receiving a scholarship to study art at the University of Paris in France

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about leaving his position at the Jewel Tea Company to study abroad in Paris, France

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his journey to Paris, France to study art at the University of Paris

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes studying art at the University of Paris in during the summer of 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his travels in Europe during the summer of 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his return to Chicago, Illinois from Paris, France in 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the Black People's Topographical Research Centers on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the intellectual environment of Paris, France in 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his decision to stop cutting his hair

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls the black community of Chicago, Illinois during the 1960s, the Nation of Islam, and HistoryMaker Margaret Burroughs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about Malcolm X and black activism in Chicago, Illinois during the 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls the Black Arts organizations in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his interest in African textiles in art of the African Diaspora

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls a lecture by Whitney Halstead on African art at the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls receiving a fellowship from the Art Institute of Chicago to study African art and art of the African Diaspora

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his religious upbringing

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his grandmother's religious beliefs and the spiritual importance of family and African heritage

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls the formation of AfriCOBRA in 1968, civil unrest in Chicago, Illinois, and the Wall of Respect mural project

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about AfriCOBRA and the desire to foster a uniquely African American artistic tradition

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes AfriCOBRA's aesthetics and the role of the image-maker

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes AfriCOBRA's first exhibition, at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York in 1970

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about the National Conference of Artists

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson explains the aesthetic principles of AfriCOBRA's works

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about HistoryMaker Wadsworth A. Jarrell, Sr.'s Wall of Respect mural

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about the Afro-Arts Theater and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the network of African American cultural and political organizations in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1960s

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his mentors at the Art Institute of Chicago, including HistoryMakers Margaret Burroughs and Richard Hunt

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his fellowship with textile artist Claire Zeisler and the founding of Ankh Studio

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson explains the roles of African art and Egyptian symbols in the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about Raah Bird and the Ankh Studio in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the South Shore community of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls teaching at Malcolm X College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes Malcolm X College in Chicago, Illinois, and how it has changed since the 1970s

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson lists artists involved in AfriCOBRA, including Omar Lama

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about muralists Calvin B. Jones, Mitchell Caton, William Walker and Eugene Eda, and other artists

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls studying textile arts under Mahboob Shahzaman at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about marrying Annette Jones and moving to Boston, Massachusetts to teach at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about teaching at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about buying the Edward Everett Hale House in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes the history of his home and studio, the Edward Everett Hale House in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes cultural events at the Edward Everett Hale House in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls the 1999 Juneteenth celebration at the Edward Everett Hale House in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson contrasts the political and social environments of Chicago, Illinois and Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his 1979 arrest in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his 1979 arrest in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about NCA artists in Detroit, Michigan, including HistoryMakers Willis Bing Davis, Jon Onye Lockard, and Tyree Guyton

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about accepting an offer to teach at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes challenges he faced teaching students at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson remembers a controversy in 1999 over the flying of a Confederate battle flag over the South Carolina State House

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about employment opportunities for art faculty at historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his consulting work for USAID in Haiti

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes traveling to Barbados and Mauretania

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his trip to Mauritania, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recounts his trip to Mauritania, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls Festac '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, in Lagos, Nigeria

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about experiencing a spiritual connection to Africa at Festac '77 in Lagos, Nigeria

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about the people he met in Nigeria during Festac '77

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his visit to the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove of Osogbo, Nigeria

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson reflects upon Festac '77 and the presidential election of HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls the contrast between luxury guest accommodations and local poverty in Nigeria during Festac '77

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes his family

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his desire to preserve his artworks and his books

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Napoleon Jones-Henderson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
Napoleon Jones-Henderson recalls his teachers at George Washington Carver High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
Napoleon Jones-Henderson talks about his mentors at the Art Institute of Chicago, including HistoryMakers Margaret Burroughs and Richard Hunt
Transcript
Now was Carver [George Washington Carver High School, Chicago, Illinois] rather new, I mean new when you when you moved out there (unclear)--$$No, no, it was an old, old--well, it might have been new in the sense that the high school building might have been built in the '50s [1950s], early '50s [1950s], before I moved out there. But the older part of the school, which were single-story long structures, because Altgeld Gardens [Chicago, Illinois] was built right after World War II, as those sort of settlements they were building around the country for relocation of military and their families. Brother Green, Thomas Green [ph.], the English teacher, he was friends with, and it's not surprising when I think about it, they were all colleagues together with Lorraine Hansberry, and Gwendolyn Brooks, and [HM] Margaret Burroughs, and you know, you go on down the line. All of these people were a part of the people who taught me at George Washington Carver High School. And actually, when Lorraine Hansberry's 'A Raisin in the Sun' was on Broadway, because of that friendship with my teachers, T. Green, we were the only persons outside of the Broadway production who were given rights to perform 'A Raisin in the Sun' while it was on Broadway (laughter).$$So were in it? Did you, did--$$Walter Lee.$$Okay.$$Yep. I still got my script and all my notes. And--$$Now that's some, that's basic, that's one of the lead roles--$$Hey--$$--in the play.$$--you know.$$Yeah, the role played role played by Sidney Poitier and other great actors.$$Yeah, but I don't think they did as good a job as I did--$$Okay (laughter).$$--'cause see, I'm from Chicago (laughter).$$Okay.$$But, yeah, so we had a, we had a deep education in terms of our school being populated by artistically engaged faculty. And I mean they, they didn't just--we didn't have a relationship with them just in school. We had relationships with them after school as well, 'cause they were very much committed to that community of students beyond the classroom, 'cause Helen used to, Mrs. Joyner [ph.] used to take us out to tile companies and get all the broken tiles or out to bottled soda distributors and get all the broken bottles that they'd have, 'cause back then they used to put soda in glass bottles. Yeah, we'd get all that broken glass, and we'd get ceramic tiles. And we'd go to fabric stores and get all the leftover fabric. And you know, she just opened up where that art was more than painting, and drawing, and sculpting. It was anything you can do with the stuff you do things with. And so she would have us, and our parents were very comfortable in lettin' us do whatever the teachers wanted after school, and they'd take us to do different things. And they were really, they were just an extension of our family.$In terms of that, just speaking about that, I mean, I, I haven't asked you who your, other than high school, I haven't asked you who your mentors were. And did you have a particular mentor at, at Art Institute [of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], and was there, was there any particular mentors amongst the older artists in Chicago [Illinois]?$$Yeah, well, you know, Marion Perkins, and [HM] Margaret Burroughs, and Charlie Burroughs [Charles Gordon Burroughs], and [HM] Richard Hunt of course 'cause I knew about him because he had gone to the Art Institute, and he graduated in '55 [1955]. And, and serendipitously I guess you could say, since he graduated in 1955 and won a traveling fellowship from the Art Institute, no other black person had won one until I did in 1971. So, I mean, you know, take that, you know, so those and Etheline [ph.] Henderson, who was a ceramist and [HM] Geraldine McCullough, sculpturist, I mean, you know, all these different people, and Bill Walker [William Walker], and you know, on and on and on. I, those, particularly those who were older than me, I knew about them when I was at the Art Institute. And in our--quote--"activism" at the Art Institute, the handful of black students I mentioned were, that were students there, lobbied the school for--(unclear)--you need to get some black instructors here. And of course, the first thing they say, "We don't know no black artists." Oh, I do, we do. And so we just, we just pull it a lit--you know, we went from Jeff [HM Jeff Donaldson], from Margaret to Jeff. And he was doing his graduate work at Northwestern [University, Chicago, Illinois] then. And of course, they brought Margaret in to teach a class, and that's fine, 'cause we, we done, we're not trying to get the whole door. We just want the doorknob now. We'll get the hinge next, we get this part; we, you know, we move on to the whole thing. And even for the fellowship competition, the way they invite jurors into judge, and we said no, you've got to have some black artists as a part of this jury. You know, you've got black graduates here, so how is it that you cannot--and there are black artists out here, so we gave them a whole list of people. And of course, they, they took [HM] David Driskell--not so much of course, but they took David Driskell 'cause he was the most prominent academic artist out there at the time. This was '71 [1971]. So--$$That's right.$$--Driskell came in and was a part of the jury. And so, all of these were people--you know, I knew of, of Aaron Douglas, and I knew of you know, Hale Woodruff, and you know, all these people. And I, and, and I knew about them because of being in, in, in, connected to Margaret Burroughs, you know, and her being the well-spring of information. And at an NCA conference, I mean, you know, Margaret had you by your collar, not by your hand, but by your shirt collar, taking you around saying: well, this is Charles White, this is Elizabeth--(unclear)--this is--(unclear)--you need to sit down here with this person and talk to them, sat us down there, and she'd go off someplace else. So we had to get engaged with these people, so they became my mentors from afar. But the ones who were up close and personal was Margaret, you know. And so, through Margaret, I mean, you know, that was like having a job, being with Margaret, 'cause she put you to work. I mean you had to go to this; you had to do that; you had do this; you had do that, and all, all it was about was giving us the stuff we need to have to go forward, you know. She was committed. And from her level of commitment, which was the same as I was speaking about my high school teachers, it became mine. Like I said, you had to choose not to be an activist if you grew up in Chicago.

Joan Sandler

Joan Delores Sandler was born on October 2, 1934 in Harlem, New York. Her mother worked as a nurse’s aide and domestic and her father was an elevator operator. Sandler was educated in New York City public schools earning her high school diploma in 1952 from the New York High School of Music and Arts.

After graduation, Sandler worked as a clerk for an insurance company. She also surrounded herself with artists and musicians, while becoming a political activist involved in the peace movement. In the early 1960s, Sandler began studying theatre with the Negro Ensemble Company and landed a role on the television drama series, Black Girl.

She began her art career in 1975, working as a program specialist for the Department of Cultural Affairs. Sandler then went on to work for the Black Theatre Alliance and Fundraising in the Public Interest. From 1983 until 1987, she worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she was in charge of community education. She also worked for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Museum of American Folk Art. In 2001, Sandler served as executive director for the foundation of her longtime friend, artist Romare Bearden. The Romare Bearden Foundation continues Bearden’s visual arts legacy through community outreach and education.

Sandler continues to consult in arts education. She has worked as a lecturer and faculty member at Hunter College, New York University, Marymount College and Princeton. She has served as an advisor to many foundations and grant making organizations. Sandler has received a number of awards and honors for her contributions to arts education.

Accession Number

A2005.035

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/2/2005

Last Name

Sandler

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

P.S. 10 Magnet School for Science and Technology

P.S. 113 Anthony J. Pranzo

Julia Ward Howe Junior High School 81

Ps 333 Manhattan School For Children

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Joan

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SAN03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults, Seniors, Cultural Organizations and Artists

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Adults, Seniors, Cultural Organizations and Artists

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern Europe, Caribbean, South America

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/2/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food, French, Italian, West Indian Food

Short Description

Arts educator Joan Sandler (1934 - ) worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was also a lecturer and faculty member at several colleges and universities.

Employment

Romare Bearden Foundation

Museum of American Folk Art

National Endowment for the Arts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fundraising in the Public Interest

The Black Theater Alliance

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
0,0:774,10:1548,21:2494,68:12212,197:26720,312:36333,459:37152,487:37698,502:38608,520:42885,576:46434,649:48436,728:57488,788:58664,827:67680,1008:73259,1047:74365,1135:89579,1320:89983,1325:92003,1364:103680,1565$0,0:14124,344:14436,349:15138,379:20208,477:22002,542:23172,572:32866,690:33838,705:37969,792:38698,805:39265,813:39589,818:40075,825:41776,859:42667,875:43072,881:43558,889:55931,1052:56627,1062:58106,1096:59063,1121:59585,1128:62630,1188:68623,1252:69316,1271:73604,1338:74060,1350:77860,1404:78164,1409:98736,1729:101258,1761:101840,1767:102325,1774:102713,1779:103489,1788:119260,1997:119962,2007:120352,2016:120820,2053:127155,2137:130008,2158:131496,2174:136425,2287:138843,2338:149523,2509:150252,2526:152034,2567:156408,2662:167910,2790:175622,2898:176364,2906:196243,3203:216538,3519:220760,3548:222434,3568:224108,3591:224852,3600:229316,3675:233477,3719:233745,3724:234214,3732:252762,3964:254010,4027:254874,4049:257940,4080:259144,4120:260434,4203:270210,4270
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joan Sandlers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joan Sandler lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joan Sandler describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joan Sandler describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joan Sandler talks about her parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joan Sandler describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joan Sandler talks about her ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joan Sandler describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joan Sandler lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joan Sandler remembers holiday celebrations in her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joan Sandler shares stories about her mother's and her maternal aunt's experiences in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joan Sandler shares memories of growing up in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joan Sandler talks about her mother's family history

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joan Sandler describes rent parties at her home in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joan Sandler describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joan Sandler remembers a special Christmas with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joan Sandler describes her elementary and junior high school experiences in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joan Sandler describes living with family in Rocky Mount, North Carolina after her parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joan Sandler talks about her stepfather, Willis Hunter

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joan Sandler recalls her interests at Julia Ward Howe Junior High School 81 and The High School of Music and Art in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joan Sandler talks about listening to radical street orators in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joan Sandler talks about her early adult life in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joan Sandler talks about the early years of her marriage to Alvin Sandler

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joan Sandler talks about Louis E. Burnham's influence on her life

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joan Sandler talks about her friendship with Lorraine Hansberry

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joan Sandler describes living in Mexico with her family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joan Sandler remembers the political atmosphere of New York, New York in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joan Sandler describes her work with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joan Sandler recalls her work with the Black Theatre Alliance and acting career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joan Sandler remembers developments in African American art from the 1960s to 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joan Sandler describes the effects of political activism on her family life

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joan Sandler describes her work as an artists' model and promoting black films

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joan Sandler talks about working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joan Sandler describes changes in the black art world in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joan Sandler talks about her work as a regional representative for the National Endowment for the Arts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joan Sandler talks about consulting for arts foundations and museums

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joan Sandler talks about growth in the black filmmaking and the need for developing black theatre

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joan Sandler describes the purpose of an artist-based foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joan Sandler talks about her goals and plans for the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joan Sandler talks about challenges for contemporary African American artists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joan Sandler talks about her daughters, Eve and Kathe Sandler, and their careers

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joan Sandler reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joan Sandler reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joan Sandler describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joan Sandler shares her memories of Paul Robeson

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joan Sandler recalls James Baldwin's final days

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joan Sandler reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joan Sandler describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Joan Sandler describes her hopes for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Joan Sandler narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joan Sandler narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Joan Sandler remembers a special Christmas with her mother
Joan Sandler talks about working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York
Transcript
Tell me a little bit about the Christmas with no ornaments.$$Yeah. That was the building, yeah, before we moved to 113th Street [New York, New York]. And, I guess I was ten years old around that time, maybe a little older. And, we knew it was Christmas and we knew there was not a gift in the house. And, no special foods 'cause normally there would be that. There was just a very poor Christmas. And, my mother [Mary Wade Alexander] had a boyfriend at that time and either he was still with his family and coming back and forth, or he just wasn't present. And, we had nothing. And, my mother said--and, I guess we were just sort of walking around, you know, just looking sad but not complaining loud, but my mother saw that. And, she just took all these magazines and pieces of paper and she made all these wonderful things by hand. And, she got us involved in making it. And, my brothers tell the same story. They were smaller than me at the time. And, she just had this incredible spirit and magic about her that she could pull us from the dust bin really, and make, make Christmas. And, all--so these decoration were handmade. My mother was very good with her hands. She was a great seamstress, and she was a great cook, and she, she just had this creative spirit. And, it's a Christmas--and we had just about enough food in the house at that time. And, it's a Christmas I and my brothers, when we get together, we talked about it. But, now my older brothers have passed away, but they remembered it very well. And, they remember her spirit.$Let's talk about your work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art [(The Met), New York, New York].$$Yeah. I was trying to remember where I was just before I went to The Met. Let me get this story straight, now (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) You were at Fundraising in the Public Interest.$$Yeah, Fundraising--I guess I did go straight to The Met from there. In fact, the position that was created before I went there, my dear friend Herb Scott-Gibson [Herbert Scott-Gibson] was working for them. And, it were called [Department of] Community Education. There was a whole education department that was devoted to non--all the stuff The Met had not done for years. It was making the museum accessible for people in wheelchairs. It was bringing in community groups if you live--coming to the gallery; was working with senior citizens. I had about, it was in that department about four or five places for people. Also, doing bilingual lecturers and that kind of thing. I think I mentioned that. But, my friend Herb Scott-Gibson who had that job for about two years passed away. And, he was a good friend of mine. He passed away and, and it was rather shocking. And, then I--someone from The Met called me and said, you know, "They're looking for someone, would you come in and interview for it?" I must have known at least a dozen people from around the country--no, didn't know who they were, in some cases I knew them; who interviewed for it. And, I, you know, I was interested in the job certainly but it was always fascinating to me that when Philippe de Montebello said, "She's the one" (laughter). So, I said, "Okay, not bad, not bad." I was told that much later by people who sat in on the interview. So, I was there for I guess close to four years with a very exciting department. A couple of snakes in the grass who tried to, you know, bite my ankles off and that kind of thing.$$(Laughter).$$And, but we did a lot of wonderful things and as a result I was able to also bring musicians into the museum, like Randy Weston and people like that; have an afternoon talk between Romare Bearden and [HistoryMaker] Richard Long, have those ki- that caliber of people there. The head of the Museo [de Arte de Puerto Rico] in [Santurce] Puerto Rico, the head of the culture institutions there would come. And, we'd do whole wonderful talks in Spanish. And, I asked to Philippe to introduce them, 'cause Philippe spoke Spanish even though he's, he's French, he spoke wonderful Spanish. And, he would, you know, some of the scholars he knew. So, I was able to just move into a lot of different directions with enormous resources. And, then, then things got a little tight there and a little funny 'cause I was also very much a favorite, not just by Philippe but also by the president of the museum, Bill Macomber [William B. Macomber Jr.]. And, and then the last thing I did there working with my neighbor who has a Ph.D. from Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], I did a study on the needs and the patterns of professionals of color and art museums in America. And, I had mostly--focusing actually on the northeast and maybe the mid, mid-Atlantic states, yeah, down passed Washington [D.C.].$$What did you discover in your study (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, I discovered that art museums are the hardest places to work in, in that you're--the, being accepted and considered on the par as your white counterpart, even if you might come in with all the degrees and everything, that never happened. Art museums adjusted poorly and slowly to what was the changing population on many levels. Not just in the program area but in the hiring practices and that kind of thing. We found that museums that weren't, even though they weren't a part of the study that were like science museum, natural history museum, historical societies were a little more open to, to diversity. And, to diversity among professionals and encouraging that. It was, it was an interesting study. It was used for a long time in a lot of situations, and it was, it was known all over the country. And, I was active in the museum professional associations, and that kind of thing. And, then that was the last thing I did and that was my last year at The Met.