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Ron Adams

Printmaker Ron Adams is a former commercial printmaker and current independent artist who has taught at several universities and collaborated with artists such as John Biggers and Judy Chicago. He was born on June 25, 1934, in Detroit, Michigan to Laura and William Adams. Adams took classes at numerous art schools throughout the late 1950s and the 1960s, including Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Manual Arts Adult Night School, Los Angeles City College, UCLA and the University of Mexico. These classes gave him a broad base of experience in technical skills such as drafting, technical illustration, lithography, and engraving, as well as the more standard drawing and painting. He received a certificate of trade proficiency from Otis College of Art and Design in 1963.

Adams used his technical expertise to become a successful commercial printer. In 1968, while studying at the University of Mexico, Adams designed the poster, murals, and motif for the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City. Upon his return to the United States, Adams went to work at the prestigious Gemini G.E.L. printing workshop in Los Angeles, where he quickly moved from the position of assistant printer to that of master printer. In 1973, he left Gemini to work as a master printer for Editions Press in San Francisco. A year later, Adams moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to found his own printing company, Hand Graphics Ltd. While there, he also worked as a guest instructor in the printmaking department of the University of Texas in El Paso in 1981, and chaired the Santa Fe Committee for Low-Cost Studio Space for Artists in 1985. Adams sold Hand Graphics Ltd. in 1987 and retired from commercial printing to focus on producing his own artwork. He has since served as artist-in-residence at Hampton University in Virginia in 1989 and at Tougaloo Art Colony in Mississippi in 2002.

Adams has been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery in Nashville, and the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque, among others. His work was included in a travelling exhibition of prints and drawings sent to the USSR by the US State Department in 1966. Pieces by Adams appear in the collections of such noted museums as the California Afro-American Museum in Los Angeles, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., and the Bronx Museum in the Bronx, as well as in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Accession Number

A2010.081

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2010

Last Name

Adams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Northwestern High School

Sampson Elementary School

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Otis College of Art and Design

University of California, Los Angeles

Academy of San Carlos

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Ron

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

ADA10

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Any

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Central America

Favorite Quote

For A Long Life, Keep Your Mouth Shut And Your Bowels Open.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/25/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon, Poultry, Soul Food, Mexican Food

Short Description

Printmaker and graphic designer Ron Adams (1934 - ) worked as a fine art printmaker at the Gemini G.E.L. studio, where he printed the works of artists like Robert Rauschenberg. He also created his own lithographic prints and collaborated with John T. Biggers and Charles Wilbert White.

Employment

Mission Appliance Service

Hughes Aircraft Company

Litton Industries, Inc.

Gemini G.E.L. LLC

Hand Graphics LLC

Editions Press

University of Texas at El Paso

Hampton University

Memphis College of Art

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ron Adams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ron Adams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ron Adams remembers his mother's profession and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ron Adams talks about his maternal grandmother, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ron Adams talks about his maternal grandmother, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ron Adams remembers his father's personality and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ron Adams describes his paternal grandfather's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ron Adams describes his paternal grandfather's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ron Adams describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ron Adams talks about his neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ron Adams remembers his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ron Adams talks about his neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ron Adams remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ron Adams talks about his early interest in drawing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ron Adams describes his experiences at Northwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ron Adams talks about his move to California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ron Adams remembers meeting his first wife

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ron Adams recalls how he came to be a technical illustrator

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ron Adams describes the technical illustration program at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ron Adams describes his career as a technical illustrator in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ron Adams describes his decision to attend the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ron Adams remembers his professors at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ron Adams recalls the cultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ron Adams talks about his reasons for moving to Mexico City, Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ron Adams remembers his arrival in Mexico City, Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ron Adams describes the process of lithography

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ron Adams describes the processes of etching and engraving

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ron Adams recalls how he came to work at Gemini G.E.L. LLC in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ron Adams describes how he became the graphic designer for the 1968 Summer Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ron Adams talks about the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City, Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ron Adams talks about his involvement in the protest movements of the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ron Adams describes his work at Gemini G.E.L. LLC in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ron Adams describes the role of a master printer

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ron Adams talks about the difference between fine art prints and commercial prints

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ron Adams talks about printer's proofs and artist's proofs

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ron Adams describes his decision to open a printing studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ron Adams talks about the Hand Graphics LLC studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ron Adams remembers working with Charles Wilbert White

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ron Adams talks about the process of publishing a print

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ron Adams recalls his guest lectures

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ron Adams recalls meeting his third wife

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ron Adams talks about his artist residencies

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ron Adams describes his family's impressions of his career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ron Adams talks about his print, 'Blackburn'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ron Adams describes his print, 'Profile in Blue'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ron Adams remembers his relationship with the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ron Adams describes his decision to move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ron Adams describes his hobbies

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ron Adams talks about the arts community in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ron Adams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ron Adams shares his advice to aspiring artists

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ron Adams reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ron Adams narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Ron Adams describes his work at Gemini G.E.L. LLC in Los Angeles, California
Ron Adams remembers working with Charles Wilbert White
Transcript
So now, let's go back to 1969 through '73 [1973], and talk to me more about your work at Gemini G.E.L. [Gemini G.E.L. LLC, Los Angeles, California].$$Oh that was, it was a wonderful experience for me because I had to learn the very basics in printmaking, but not very, to the extent that they did it at Gemini G.E.L., because I mean most of the artists that were there were a lot of New York [New York] blue chip artists. And there's a lot of various positive things that happened there, experienced. I met a lot of wonderful friends that we're still in contact today on a monthly or weekly basis, a lot of the guys I worked with then. They worked the hell out of you, because I mean I remember one instance, for instance we were working with, shortly after they did the moon walk on the moon, we were working with Bob Rauschenberg [Robert Rauschenberg], and they had this project that they were gonna do a series of the moon thing ['Stoned Moon,' Robert Rauschenberg]. He was invited to NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] to witness this, and so I don't know, they were gonna do this big sweep or something of his regarding the Americans landing on the moon. Now the fact is, is by us making prints, the more images he would turn out, the more money they would make. So, it was one of those things, we would go in there, work started at eight o'clock, you got off for lunch at ten, and about four o'clock in the afternoon the boss would come by and say, "What do you guys want for dinner?" That means you're gonna be there to do some overtime. Okay about eight o'clock he'd come by and ask you how you like your bacon and eggs. (Laughter) You know you're gonna be there to sunrise. And then you get up, "Now you guys go home, be back in about three hours or four hours and come back to work." And that went on for about a couple of--two or three weeks. But, from this, the advantage of working there, all the work that we worked on we would get one of the printer's proofs, and a lot of people are, like I saw a lot of guys are still living off--some of those prints are worth thousands and thousands of dollars. But, when I moved to New Mexico I sold most of mine; I wish I hadn't. And you know I mean everything from Andy Warhol to just, I mean all of these big names. And you know I had all that stuff under my bed, you know, because we would get one of everything. And they treated us, I mean if you had a hurt hand or something, they would send you to the top doctors in Beverly Hills [California]. And then when they, they actually--one of the highlights, they decided that they were gonna have it showed, the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And they said, "What we're gonna do is fly the whole shop there, the janitors and all. The only thing we request is you guys have a good time." So that was one of those experiences where, I mean I got an opportunity to meet all kind of movie stars, celebrities, and everything. And working in there, I mean there were all these people like coming in there, and one of the guys used to hang out with us, name was Michael Crichton. He was a big star. He wrote 'The Andromeda Strain.' He has done--he's a young guy and he's very wealthy. He's about 6'8" and I heard about a year or two he died, and he wasn't that old a guy either. And he was one of these guys, when he was twenty-one years old he was a doctor and all that. But, he's already from family with money. Anyway, they flew the whole shop there and the only thing they want for you to do is just have a good time and that was about it and they was gonna pay, flew the whole shop there with pay, paid you for a week, you know.$Now, you were there [Hand Graphics LLC, Santa Fe, New Mexico] for seventeen years.$$Um-hm.$$I know there's gotta be some stories about some of the artists that you worked with or--$$Um-hm, oh yeah.$$--or some of the pieces that you know are worth a lot of money or something. Tell me what, tell me, give me a story.$$Well, I think one to me it was--I felt very good about the fact that Charles White [Charles Wilbert White] had sought me out to do a print for him during the bicentennial of the U.S., and it's, it's a matter of he and his dealer, Ben Horowitz [Benjamin Horowitz], flew out to Los- to Santa Fe [New Mexico] for me to do this particular print with Charles White, because he was going to be in a nationally traveling show and he was the only--it was an Afro American show, he was the only living artist to be in there. So, he says, "Well, if it's an all Afro American show I will get it--." And Los Angeles County Museum [Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California] wanted to do a print to help pay for this, so he decided if it's gonna be an all Afro American show, I'm gonna get an Afro American printer to print it. Okay, well he flew out to New Mexico and for some reason--Bob Blackburn [Robert Blackburn] is much more well known than I am. But, why he came there rather than New York [New York] I don't know. Bob Blackburn didn't have the set up that I had because Bob Blackburn's studio [Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop] was for, more or less it's a learning place and that sort of thing and mine was set up on much more professional level than--so they flew out there and, in order for Charlie to do the print with me. And the fact is the first time I had ever won any competition, Charles White happened to be the judge out of the first competition I ever won a piece in, and I had known him in Los Angeles [California] before he had came to New Mexico. So, he and his dealer, Ben Horowitz, flew out there and by Santa Fe being seven thousand feet, and Charles White only had one lung, it is very difficult for him to breathe there. So, we had to postpone that, but I always had wanted to work with Charlie. And so about a year or two later, I decided I would do something with him and, but he could not come to Santa Fe. So, what I decided to do was one of those big litho stones--you see where that television is sitting there, that's, on that flat stone that's a big stone, about the size of that table. I took and drove the stone out to his house from New Mexico to Los Angeles, Pasadena [California], where he was living and set it up in his studio. And then I left my truck there and flew back to New Mexico, and a couple of months later he called me to tell me he had completed the drawing on the stone, then I drove back to California, and another friend of mine was working for an artist that I also had worked with, Sam Francis, a pretty well know artist. He had a printmaking studio out in Santa Monica [The Litho Shop, Inc., Santa Monica, California]. So, I proofed the print up just to see what it looks like in front of Charlie, hey here's what we got, here's the corrections or whatever you have to make, so we can discuss it while he was there--visually. So, he approved it and then I drove the stone all the way back to New Mexico and that's where we printed the edition of that particular stone. And then he and I continued to work together, and he had gotten ill at that particular time, so I was taking him some little etching, some plates and he says to me, "Ron [HistoryMaker Ron Adams], look if you can't--," because it's my own business, he said, "well, if you can't afford to publish these you don't have to, you know." I said, "No, hell no, as long as you feel like drawing, hey I'm, I'm your man, you know you do all you want." So, those were, he was, he did four of these little plates and he called me, because I was sending them back and forth through the mail these small etching plates, and he says he made the corrections and he called me and told me, "Ron, I'm sending these plates back next week." I said, "Okay," and I waited two or three weeks, and I didn't receive them and his wife [Frances Barrett White] called me and said, "Charlie passed this week." So, I never saw, took about a year to hand those up, you know before I got the prints and printed those. Those were his last etchings and engravings, you know.$$Do you know the, remember the name of the piece, the first piece that you did? Was there a name for the, the, the print?$$Charles White?$$Yes.$$Oh, 'Sounds of Silence' [sic. 'Sound of Silence']. It was a lithograph. It's on that, over there, the cover is on that book over there if you wanna see that, 'Sounds of Silence.'

Elizabeth Catlett

Acclaimed printer maker and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett was born on April 15, 1915, in Washington, D.C. Growing up with grandparents who had been slaves, she was very aware of the injustices against black women. She attended Lucretia Mott Elementary School, Dunbar High School and then Howard University School of Art where she graduated cum laude in 1936. After she became the first student to earn an MFA degree in sculpture from the University of Iowa in 1940, she studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago and later in New York she studied lithography at the Art Students League.

In 1946, Catlett accepted an invitation to work in Mexico City’s Taller de Grafica Popular, a collective graphic arts and mural workshop. There she cultivated the theme for her work, the African American woman. In 1947, she produced her first major show “I am a Negro Woman,” a series of sculptures, prints, and paintings through a Julius Rosenwald Foundation fellowship, which toured black women’s colleges in the South. That same year she married Mexican painter Francisco Mora. A lively community of artists surrounded her and Mora, including Diego Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo. From 1958 through 1976, she directed the sculpture department at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

In 1993, Catlett received her first New York City exhibition since 1971 and in 1998 the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York honored her with a fifty year retrospective. Her paintings and sculptures were in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, in New York, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Catlett passed away on April 4, 2012 at age 96.

Accession Number

A2005.170

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2005 |and| 7/27/2005

Last Name

Catlett

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Lucretia Mott Elementary School

University of Iowa

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Students League of New York

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Elizabeth

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

CAT02

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

Sponsor

Dianne and Louis Carr

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mexico

Birth Date

4/15/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Mexico City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Death Date

4/2/2012

Short Description

Printmaker, art professor, and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett (1915 - 2012 ) was an acclaimed visual artist known for her works that explore African American themes. She was especially well-known for her depictions of a mother and child motif, both in two and three dimensions. Catlett spent much of her life in Mexico, where she directed the sculpture department at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico for nearly twenty years.

Employment

Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas

George Washington Carver School

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett talks about her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett talks about her father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elizabeh Catlett remembers her ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her childhood in Washington D.C. in the 1920s

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett reminisces on summers in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett describes her extended family in Lincolnton, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett shares childhood holiday memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers Lucretia Mott elementary school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls the Washington D.C. neighborhood of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers role models from elementary and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett explains her family's thriftiness

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett details her transition into college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her high school involvement in swimming

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett describes her early desire to pursue art

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her uncle's troubled life

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett reminisces about her brother's life and early death

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers her relationship with her brother

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett comments on role models of her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elizabeth Catlett describes the great personality differences between her sister Sara and herself

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett reflects on her sister's life

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett describes life in Washington D.C. in the 1920s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett discusses key memories from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Washington D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett comments on her study of black history

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett details her experiences as an undergraduate in Howard University's art department

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett describes color-consiousness in Delta Sigma Theta sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett dispels myths of Lois Mailou Jones influence on her art

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett describes campus life at Howard University on the cusp of WWII

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett discusses her scholarly pursuits at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers studying under E. Franklin Frazier

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett describes a menial job she held after college

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett explains her involvement in protesting racial inequality in black teachers pay

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett gives reasons she wanted to leave Durham, North Carolina, part I

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elizabeth Catlett describes why she left Durham, North Carolina, part II

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elizabeth Catlett details her successes as a teacher

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elizabeth Catlett explains her decision to attend University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Elizabeth Catlett reminsces about graduate life at the University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Elizabeth Catlett remembers her artistic influences at University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Elizabeth Catlett discuses her battles against a racist administrator at the University of Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Elizabeth Catlett recalls her most influential teacher, Grant Wood

Evangeline Montgomery

Curator, printmaker, and mixed media artist Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery was born on May 2, 1933, 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.

Accession Number

A2004.258

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/13/2004

Last Name

Montgomery

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Seward Park High School

Los Angeles City College

California College of the Arts

California State University, Los Angeles

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Evangeline

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MON03

Favorite Season

April

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Northern California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/2/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Printmaker, curator, and mixed media artist Evangeline Montgomery (1933 - ) began her career as an arts administrator in San Francisco, California and since then, has worked tirelessly to create opportunities to showcase African American artists.

Employment

Oakland Museum of California

American Association for State and Local History

United States Information Agency

United States Department of State

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:2680,25:3130,31:9070,104:9790,112:10510,121:12040,144:12760,154:13120,159:19596,170:20289,179:20685,188:26476,251:27586,275:28548,291:32027,352:32774,361:33936,385:34434,393:36094,421:36924,432:38833,461:39829,476:40493,481:41074,489:45335,527:47960,570:48335,577:51335,634:56696,673:57788,692:58698,706:60660,715:68140,790:68460,795:75810,896:76530,908:79730,927:81630,945:83333,955:84640,962:93192,1052:93504,1057:94050,1065:99588,1164:100446,1177:100758,1182:101070,1187:108870,1231:110865,1254:113900,1277:114494,1287:119670,1361:120125,1369:134130,1480:134614,1485:138938,1538:149610,1625$0,0:230,21:1030,31:9738,87:33490,263:36370,300:38463,336:56983,514:57409,522:57835,529:58474,544:58829,550:59823,569:63545,619:63920,625:64445,634:72602,699:85338,820:89999,834:90711,845:91423,854:93381,877:94004,885:102320,959:106850,1033:111160,1098:111484,1103:112132,1115:114826,1138:115239,1147:115534,1153:117770,1169:121726,1204:131810,1293:132370,1303:145580,1388:158314,1488:159286,1498:165273,1558:176636,1638:176932,1643:177302,1649:178116,1663:178782,1673:189738,1800:198700,1915:201786,1934:202482,1943:205147,1974:215196,2036:216060,2047:217692,2079:222340,2102:230710,2170:232990,2191:236790,2218:238450,2239
DAStories

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

12$4

DATitle
Evangeline Montgomery reflects upon the impact of African American art in California during the black studies movement
Evangeline Montgomery describes the impetus for creating metal ancestral boxes
Transcript
And at the time when the black studies explosion was taking place, what impact do you think that had on African American artists?$$Well, it was great for them because it began to open new doors for them. For instance, I did exhibitions. I organized exhibitions for all the colleges in and around the [San Francisco] Bay Area [California] and some in Southern California even. I was able to bring artists from Southern California into exhibitions in Northern California. I also decided that if I was asked to do a show in a university setting or something like that, that I would try to get an artist from outside of the area as a guest artist as part of the show. For instance, I did an exhibition at Stanford University [Stanford, California] on printmaking. And I invited an artist from Boston [Massachusetts], Calvin Burnett, who is a famous printmaker, and had a dozen of his pieces as part of the show, so that I as introducing a new name, new style, someone who had reached heights in, in that particular medium.$$And were you finding that only African Americans were interested in African American artists?$$No, in California it was truly accepted by everybody in that they came to see. And if, if coordinated in the right way, the, lot of publicity and whatnot, everybody came to see. Now, whether in museums and whatnot, you're not necessarily selling works of art. So--$$You're just showing them.$$Just showing and giving people a history, and a background, and also offering an opportunity to look at abstract work, to look at images of themselves, to look at quality art, new technology, things like that.$Tell us a little bit about the ancestral boxes that you create out of metal.$$Well, my mother [Carmelite Thompson] had an incense burner, and it's a Chinese little vessel. And she used to write notes, and when she prayed over them and thought about them, if the experience that she wanted to happen came to pass in a favorable manner, then she would burn the note. I knew that she was using this incense burner for something. But, and I had seen her place things in it, but I had never looked in it, ever. And when my mother died, the, the first thing I did was to open that incense burner, lift the cover off, and there were two notes placing me in God's hands. Now, I was an adult, but I was divorcing and you know, had problems of my own and whatnot. So she, she was still thinking about me even in her sickest moments. And when I was thinking about an object to, to make, I first made incense burners. And there are three of those incense burners from the first set that I made in the collection of the Oakland Museum in California [Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California]. Then they turned into box shapes, and I began to think about ancestral worship and whatnot and I had seen containers in Africa knew that they make, use them for various things.$$How, how did you make your first ancestral box?$$They're all made out of wax originally, and then they are cast using a method that Africans use a lot.$$What's the method?$$Well, forming them in, in some sort of container situation in a mold, and then burning out the wax, and then pouring in hot molting metal into your mold shape and casting.$$And--$$And I, I feel these boxes are for something precious. They could be used as incense burners whether they're a box or whatnot. But they also could hold like your wedding ring, your tooth, all your baby teeth and, or anything, something.$$How, how big are they usually?$$They're fairly small, two by two, three by three.$$When did you make your first one?$$Sixty-nine [1969].$$What do you keep in yours?$$I don't keep anything in mine (laughter). I just have them. And I recently sold some of the earlier ones. They have been included in exhibitions over the years, and are recorded in several publications.

Lou Stovall

World-renowned printmaker and artist Lou Stovall has helped build a thriving artistic community in the nation's capital. Born in Athens, Georgia, on January 1, 1937, Stovall grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, before founding a printmaking company, Workshop, Inc.

After graduating from high school in 1962, Stovall moved to Washington, D.C. He earned a B.F.A. from Howard University in 1965. While there, Stovall was influenced by his teachers to give back to his community and to share his wisdom with young artists. In 1968, Stovall started Workshop, Inc. as a small, active studio concerned mainly with community posters. Under Stovall's leadership, Workshop, Inc. has evolved into a professional and highly respected printmaking facility.

A master printmaker by trade, Stovall has been commissioned to print works from a number of artists. His passion, however, remained drawing. Stovall has produced drawings and prints for several special occasions. One of his best-known works, "Breathing Hope," was commissioned for the inauguration of Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert. In 1982, First Lady Nancy Reagan asked Stovall to design the Independence Day invitation for the White House. Washington Mayor Marion Barry commissioned Stovall in 1986 to create "American Beauty Rose" for the city's host committee for the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Stovall's prints and drawings have found homes in several public and private collections around the world.

Stovall's efforts to build a community of artists in Washington extended beyond the opening of his studio. Stovall has provided apprenticeships to several young artists in the city. In 2001, he served as a juror for the Howard University Student Art Exhibition.

Accession Number

A2003.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/27/2003

Last Name

Stovall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Hooker Elementary School

Chestnut Junior High School

Springfield Technical Community College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lou

Birth City, State, Country

Athens

HM ID

STO02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do everything as if it's the last thing that you're going to be doing

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/1/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Pound)

Short Description

Printmaker Lou Stovall (1937 - ) started Workshop, Inc. as a small, active studio concerned mainly with community posters. Under Stovall's leadership, Workshop, Inc. has evolved into a professional and highly respected printmaking facility. One of his best-known works, "Breathing Hope," was commissioned for the inauguration of Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert.

Employment

Workshop, Inc.

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
1144,0:1489,6:1834,13:2248,23:3628,50:4042,58:7009,133:7285,144:7768,157:8803,174:9769,188:10252,197:11287,219:11563,224:16420,249:17636,269:18396,291:21132,329:21664,338:22348,350:23108,363:23412,368:24020,380:24476,387:25160,401:25540,407:30138,476:34090,557:34470,563:34850,570:35230,576:35762,585:39005,602:39600,611:39940,616:42680,636:43450,647:43800,653:44570,670:45480,689:46110,709:46530,716:47720,737:48000,742:48560,751:50660,804:54230,881:54860,891:55350,900:57170,939:62540,958:65500,1016:66780,1036:67420,1046:69942,1061:70481,1069:72945,1121:73330,1127:73792,1135:76025,1190:77796,1231:78335,1239:83997,1258:85346,1285:85701,1291:86482,1306:86908,1313:87192,1318:91594,1412:92517,1428:94505,1463:99147,1498:100379,1530:100687,1535:102304,1571:102612,1576:106656,1621:108110,1627:108926,1643:109402,1651:109674,1656:111646,1706:112054,1718:112530,1726:112938,1733:118205,1779:118660,1784:119310,1800:120090,1820:124039,1879$0,0:4180,79:10992,150:12960,186:13862,205:14518,214:18248,232:19320,242:22040,268:22330,274:26030,305:26678,319:27002,326:27704,376:28298,390:31313,430:33088,459:33727,470:38626,567:45338,619:45906,628:46474,638:46758,643:47823,674:48249,682:50450,747:50734,752:51444,767:55536,788:56356,801:64410,898:65264,906:66656,919:70478,934:71790,955:74723,981:77918,1040:78415,1051:78699,1067:84550,1139:85702,1155:86206,1164:87430,1192:88150,1203:88654,1212:89014,1218:91802,1251:92226,1261:92438,1266:93339,1289:96308,1327:97322,1343:98258,1359:98804,1369:100364,1390:100754,1396:101378,1406:102626,1425:103094,1432:104420,1457:104732,1462:105512,1476:111842,1500:112112,1506:112436,1514:113030,1526:119120,1678:120680,1707:121070,1717:124156,1733:125740,1774:126676,1785:127540,1803:130078,1818:130630,1826:132200,1834:136190,1842:136630,1852:137125,1862:138335,1890:140254,1913:140716,1922:141112,1929:142564,1973:143026,1981:143422,1990:143752,1996:144148,2004:145468,2034:145930,2042:157382,2185:158158,2194:158837,2202:169797,2323:170694,2338:172005,2375:174627,2425:175317,2444:175662,2450:176352,2475:176973,2502:178146,2526:178491,2533:178974,2542:179319,2548:179664,2554:180216,2564:180561,2570:188204,2589:192076,2673:192516,2679:207171,2862:207585,2870:207861,2875:209172,2896:210069,2911:210414,2918:211449,2936:214830,3011:222056,3091:225248,3180:226008,3191:230404,3249:230668,3254:233870,3295:235570,3314:236070,3325:243044,3393
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for Lou Stovall interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lou Stovall lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lou Stovall gives background information on his mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lou Stovall talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lou Stovall expresses disinterest in family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lou Stovall talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lou Stovall talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lou Stovall describes his family, their values, and their education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lou Stovall describes his father's sacrifices

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lou Stovall describes his childhood and his early crafts

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lou Stovall describes his early art and writing

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lou Stovall reflect on narrative art and his father's ghost stories

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lou Stovall talks about his early education and artistic aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lou Stovall describes himself as a high school and college student

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lou Stovall describes the racial climate of his childhood community

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lou Stovall describes the high schools in Springfield

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lou Stovall talks about his high school art teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lou Stovall comments on teachers' racial makeup

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lou Stovall describes his college aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lou Stovall describes his early career and marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lou Stovall describes his muses

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lou Stovall describes his ex-wife and children

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lou Stovall describes his childhood studio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lou Stovall talks about his mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lou Stovall recalls the changes in 1950s America

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Lou Stovall talks about the role of art in protests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lou Stovall discusses going to jail in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lou Stovall talks about his participation in the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lou Stovall describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lou Stovall talks about his plans for graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lou Stovall discusses how his career got started

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lou Stovall talks about his furniture

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lou Stovall discusses his silk screening process

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lou Stovall discusses his artistic influences and inspiration

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lou Stovall explains why he paints birds

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lou Stovall discusses his art and spiritual orientation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lou Stovall explains his color schemes

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lou Stovall discusses cleanliness and order in the studio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lou Stovall discusses his writing

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lou Stovall discusses his retrospective exhibition

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lou Stovall explains the creative process of silk-screening

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lou Stovall illustrates the use of history in the creative process

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lou Stovall discusses his concerns about African American vernacular language

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lou Stovall discusses the problems with African American vernacular language

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lou Stovall talks about meeting George Meany

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lou Stovall describes his relationship with Jacob Lawrence

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lou Stovall talks about the downside of fame

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lou Stovall discusses how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lou Stovall discusses his regrets

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lou Stovall gives his advice for young artists

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Lou Stovall describes his childhood studio
Lou Stovall discusses how his career got started
Transcript
There were a couple of friends who hung out at my studio, because that was another thing my mother [Irene Brightwell] did. She made sure that, that I had a studio at a time that I really needed a studio. And it was a room that was--I wrote a poem about it--suspended between the first and second floor. We could only reach it from the back of the kitchen, the back stairs. Or coming down from the third floor. You know, there was a little winding, you know, it was a big house. At that particular time houses in Springfield, Mass [Massachusetts]--you would have a house that was like five or six rooms on each floor. And one was called the first floor, you know, right apartment or house; and then the second floor. They weren't like duplexes here where houses split in half and you have all the levels. (Clears throat) You would only have the one level. But through an agreement that she made with my uncle who owned the other half of the house, that I would have that particular room. That would be my room, and that room became my studio. So my friends were welcome to come night and day. You know, they would come in quietly and we would hang out. And we would listen to music, you know. I had the, the biggest speaker around. And so we played Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, and the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Dave Brubeck [jazz musicians]. And, you know, it was a life. And then I had my pictures on the walls, and put album covers on the ceiling, you know. It was, it was great. And then we would go on long walks, you know, and sometimes we'd play chess. We'd play chess for sometimes two or three nights in a row without ever going to bed, you know, after we all finished our work at the various places where we worked. And we'd play chess. And I read also, well at a early age I started reading philosophy. And so I continued reading philosophy.$So what did you do next, I mean, what was your option?$$Well, I decided that I would talk to the guy that I was working for, Harvey Botkin, and maybe work for a year or two for him, and then go to another graduate school. Well, it turns out that in 1967, this is two years after I graduated, there was a exhibition at DuPont Circle [Washington, D.C. neighborhood] that I was invited to be part of. And during the course of that exhibition, we show--we sold prints and posters and had, you know, added to it, did silkscreen demonstrations and so on, and just made a wonderful thing. And I realized that I didn't need graduate school at that point, that it would have been nice to have it, you know, because that's what we, we do. You know, you take your, all your credentials and that becomes, you know, who you are, you know. Well, my credi--credentials were all working credentials. So at a certain point, I was invited to, to this man's house who said, "Tell me what you'd like to do. I'm impressed already with what you do." And that thing that I was, had done was to--the, the part of the exhibition that I did, was to sort of reshape the way that you enter a new gallery and the experience that you would have, that kind of thing. So he wanted to know about me. I wanted to know why he wanted to see me. And he said why he was interested, you know, the dynamics of art that makes people go outside the box to create something. And so I had done that. And he offered me a grant if I could write a proposal on what I wanted to do. And he said, "Do you know how to write a proposal?" And I says, "Well, yeah, of course, I do. I'll write a proposal and have it back for you, you know, in a couple of days." And the proposal I sent, gave, gave him back was that for a certain amount of money, I could build a studio, have at least two different people who I would teach to print and could have a bunch of people around us, and that the idea was anyone who learned from us, would have to teach one of the other young, younger people. And he said, "Fine, done. How much will that cost?" I said, "Well, it's right there, $10,000." And he gave it to me, you know, ten thousand dollars just to--giving, is like giving you $100,000 today.$$That was some big--a lot of money in those days.$$Right, yeah, so I established my studio. And the guy that I had been working for, Harvey Botkin, allowed me to use his shop, you know, to build some of the stuff that I needed because I wanted to build my own silkscreen table, which is still there after all these years, and use his vehicle, you know, to pick up my stuff. It was, you know, he was a great, he was a great friend, you know, but I also worked very, very hard for him. And his way of paying back to me was to be as helpful as he could be. And one of the things that he said was, he didn't want to just have a comp--another competitor out there, especially not me because I was his chief foreman. And I said, "Well, I'm not gonna be your competitor. What I want to do is fine art printing. I'm not interested in the commercial work. I'll send it to you, you know." So that's what I did. I sent him the commercial work, and I did the fine art until people got used to the fact that I was a real silkscreen printmaking facility and not a commercial shop. Yeah.$$And so you've done that ever since basically.$$Um-hum.

Samella Lewis

Artist and art historian Samella Lewis is renowned for her contributions to African American art and art history. Born on February 27, 1924, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lewis's heritage led her to view art as an essential expression of the community and its struggles.

Lewis began her art career as a student at Dillard University, where she was instructed by the African American sculptor Elizabeth Catlett. At one of her instructor's suggestions, Lewis transferred to Hampton Institute, where she earned her B.A. degree in art history in 1945. Lewis completed her graduate studies at the Ohio State University, earning her M.A. degree in 1948, and in 1951 she became the first African American woman to receive her doctorate in fine arts and art history. In order to publish Black Artists on Art (1969), Lewis founded the first African American-owned art publishing house, Contemporary Crafts.

From 1969 to 1984, Lewis worked as professor of art history at Scripps College in Claremont, California, becoming the college's first tenured African American professor. Lewis also helped to found the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles in 1976 and established the scholarly journal International Review of African-American Art that same year. The journal went on to become one of the leading forum for educating scholars and others about the many contributions African Americans have made to the visual arts. Lewis published African American Art and Artists in 1978, a history of African American art since the colonial era. Through the museum and journal she founded, Lewis created exhibition opportunities for African American artists which have bolstered their credibility.

Lewis's work was exhibited in many important galleries and museums. Lewis's deeply-personal art embodies some experience from her own life in each piece. Lewis received several awards and distinctions; in 1995, she received the UNICEF Award for the Visual Arts, and from 1996 to 1997 worked as a distinguished scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Los Angeles. Scripps College has also named an academic scholarship in Lewis's honor. Lewis and her husband, Paul G. Lewis, were married in 1948; the couple raised two children.

Accession Number

A2003.202

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/24/2003 |and| 5/22/2004

Last Name

Lewis

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School

Thomy Lafon School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Samella

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

LEW05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/27/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp Creole

Short Description

Printmaker Samella Lewis (1924 - ) is a pioneering artist and art historian renowned for her contributions to African American art and art history. In 1951, Lewis became the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in fine arts and art history. In order to publish 'Black Artists on Art,' Lewis founded the first African American-owned art publishing house, Contemporary Crafts. Lewis helped found the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles , and established the scholarly journal, International Review of African American Art.

Employment

Contemporary Crafts

Scripps College

Museum of African American Art

International Review of African-American Art

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samella Lewis interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis recalls her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis lists her siblings and her position in the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis describes her mother and her murder at age 92

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis remembers her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samella Lewis discusses her family's property

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samella Lewis details some mysteries of her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Samella Lewis remembers her early development as an artist

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Samella Lewis discusses her mother's illness

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Samella Lewis recalls her elementary school in Ponchatoula, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis shares childhood memories of New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis discusses attitudes towards race in New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis remembers her aunt and uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis discusses the practice of voodoo in New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis recounts her teenage rebellion

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis remembers her mentor. Mr. Spriggins

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis describes her rich experiences at Dillard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis recounts her interactions with Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis remembers her encounters with Benjamin Quarles and Paul Robeson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis describes the maturation of her art under Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis recalls artist, Charles White

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis recounts her union activism with Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis remembers Victor Lowenfeld

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis remembers famous classmates at Hampton University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis discusses Elizabeth Catlett and Viktor Lowenfeld's influence on her career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis recalls other influential people at Hampton University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis discusses bringing history into her art

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samella Lewis describes some of her work at Hampton University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Samella Lewis remembers some of her earliest works of art

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis recounts an encounter with racism

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis details her continuing education at Pennsylvania State and Ohio State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis recalls her studio work at University of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis remembers instances of racism at Ohio State University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis recounts causing trouble as a teacher at Morgan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis recalls her political activism

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Samella Lewis interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis recounts her challenges in becoming department chair at Florida A&M

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis discusses how white fathers dealt with illegitimate black offspring

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis lists her children

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis recalls her struggles against the all-white board of Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis discusses what African Americans have lost because of integration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Samella Lewis remembers her invitation to teach in New York

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Samella Lewis recounts Viktor Lowenfeld's career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Samella Lewis explains why she couldn't take her Ford Foundation grant

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Samella Lewis recalls her experiences in Plattsburg, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis discusses her studies in Native American and Asian art

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis discusses the Chinese influence in her work

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis describes the unethical collection of Native American art

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis recalls her studies of Native American art

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis details Elizabeth Catlett's exile in Mexico

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis explains why she left Plattsburg

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis finds her artistic voice through mentor, Viktor Lowenfeld

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis remembers working with Jacob Lawrence

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis considers leaving California and returning to vibrant Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis descibes black arts low status in the 1960s

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis opines on the effect of the Black Power movement on art

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis recalls instances of discrimiation in art galleries

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis discusses her art publications

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis explains the idea behind her black art publications

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis recounts founding the Museum of African American Art

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis discusses other museums of African American art and culture

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Samella Lewis shares her plans for the future

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Samella Lewis reflects on the importance of history

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Samella Lewis details the creative writing process behind books on black art

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Samella Lewis shares anecdotes about Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Samella Lewis highlights neglected black artists

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Samella Lewis discusses dearth of African American art in museums exhibits

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Samella Lewis considers her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Samella Lewis recounts her interactions with Elizabeth Catlett
Samella Lewis recalls artist, Charles White
Transcript
So now tell me about your first meeting with Elizabeth Catlett or even the first attending the class there? And at that point, she's young. So it's not, you know --$$She just out of, out of--she had one lone job in Texas before, after graduate school before coming to Dillard. She was young. She hadn't married Charles White at that point. She married the semester after I was there. But she was--I was really afraid of her because she was very aggressive in terms of responding to people. She was--not her students. She really loved her students and, and was very kind to them. But I saw how outspoken and aggressive she was, and I knew that that didn't work in the South too well. And I'd been taught that you protect yourself by not being too outspoken, and, and--but she was, she was very outspoken, even to the President, to anybody, any authority. It didn't make any difference. And I was sort of--she was, she's a tall woman, you know. Elizabeth is a, sort of a tall, very different kind of person. I'd never seen, I'd never experienced anybody like her in, in New Orleans. She was not a part of the society, but she was. Her father taught at Tuskegee, and he was a, a mathematician and so forth. But she was different from anybody I'd ever experienced. And I, I was curious, but I was also afraid because she would do things that I'd been taught not to do, like throw things out the bus or either to the bus driver and say, do your dirty work and things. She was--I guess I really responded to her because these are kinds of things that, that --$$That were brewing inside of you.$$Yes.$$That you would have been doing, but for --$$Absolutely.$$Right.$$Absolutely--And she really changed the course of my life in terms of, of making decisions. When I left Dillard, she got me a scholarship to Iowa, University of Iowa. And I came to Chicago and made a decision that I was going to go on and I got one at Hampton also. She got me a full scholarship to Hampton and a full scholarship to Iowa. But I decided that I wasn't going to go to Iowa because there might be too many people there who would impede my progress. And I think I was right. And I went to Hampton. And that was a great experience also. So the black colleges have really been places where--except for teaching, where I felt I was able to get a great deal from.$Do you have a Charles White story at all because you said that you had, you know, that he, he and Elizabeth Catlett got married a semester after--your second semester I think.$$Yeah, Charles. I have a Charles White story. I have a book from Elizabeth . It was called The Natural Way to Draw, by [Kimon] Nicholaides. Nicholaides was a very famous teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago and he was, his book has been published and republished and so forth. And Elizabeth gave it to me for Christmas. And she tried to get Charles to sign it, and he wouldn't. That was my first encounter with Charles. (laughs) And no reason at all, you know, because I don't know why he wouldn't sign it because Elizabeth and I were friends, but Charles, we were, we were never quite friends. But we were--when he passed, his wife said, you know, Charles really loved you, and we want you to come to his funeral or his dedi--you know, a celebration of his life and so forth. But we, we--I taught at Otis Art Institute and Charles was there. And I don't know what it was, I think it was because I was so close to Elizabeth that, that he had problems with me because I wanted to buy some of his work. And he was going to--but he was letting other people have it for less than he would, charging me. And I, you know, I should--we just didn't quite make it. But, you know, we--he, he liked and I liked him, but we, we were combatants in a way.$$Strong personalities.$$Yes.

Jonathan Green

Painter and printmaker Jonathan Green is considered one of the most important contemporary painters of the Southern experience. Born on August 9, 1955, in Gardens Corner, South Carolina, Green was the second of seven children. He was raised in the home of his maternal grandmother, Eloise Stewart Johnson, where he learned the Gullah dialect and culture of the coastal Southeast.

Green’s interest in the arts was first nurtured as a student at Beaufort High School. After graduation, Green joined the U.S. Air Force in order to travel and obtain an education. He then attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, receiving a B.F.A. degree in 1982, making him the first known artist of Gullah heritage to receive formal artistic training at a professional art school.

The artwork of Green is heavily influenced by his Gullah heritage with vividly colored paintings and prints documenting everyday chores, in addition to celebrating Gullah life’s rites of passage. By returning his art to his childhood upbringing, Green has created an autobiographical body of work in addition to documenting a vanishing way of life.

Since 1982, Green has participated in four traveling exhibitions throughout the United States and forty-eight solo exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including The Morris Museum (Augusta, Georgia), The Afro-American Museum of Philadelphia, The Naples Museum of Art (Naples, Florida) and The IFCC Cultural Center (Portland, Oregon). Green has received awards recognizing both his work and his civic contributions. In 1996, Green received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Carolina, the same year a book, Gullah Images: The Art of Jonathan Green, reproducing a large number of his pieces was published. In 2009, Green received the Key of Life Award for his contributions and achievements in the visual fine arts from the NAACP at the organization’s fortieth Image Awards.

Accession Number

A2002.055

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/16/2002

Last Name

Green

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Beaufort High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jonathan

Birth City, State, Country

Garden Corners

HM ID

GRE03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Be happy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Birth Date

8/9/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charleston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes

Short Description

Painter and printmaker Jonathan Green (1955 - ) is a renowned painter of black Southern life. The artwork of Green is heavily influenced by his Gullah heritage with vividly colored paintings and prints documenting everyday chores, in addition to celebrating Gullah life’s rites of passage. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including The Morris Museum, The Afro-American Museum of Philadelphia, and The Naples Museum of Art.

Favorite Color

Yellow

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jonathan Green Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green discusses his grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green expresses his opinion about the notion of himself as caulbearer versus innate human intuition and creativity

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green talks about his limited exposure to the influence of his grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jonathan Green recounts his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jonathan Green lists his six siblings in birth order

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jonathan Green relates details of his childhood in.Gardens Corner, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jonathan Green talks about his childhood perspective on adult life

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green examines how his early feelings of homosexuality impacted his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green reflects on the impact of race and sexual identity further impacted his art

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green describes how his grandmother and others helped him come to terms with his homosexuality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green describes his hometown, Gardens Corner South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green describes his home church, Huspah Baptist

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green discusses his family history

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green details the origins of his ancestors, the Gullah people

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jonathan Green explains the difference between the Geechie and the Gullah

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jonathan Green examines the relationship between Gullah and African culture

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jonathan Green discusses the linguistic inner workings of the Gullah language

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jonathan Green details of his secondary education in New YOrk and South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green recalls his first impressions of New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green describes his experiences at Beaufort High School in Beaufort, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green details his his demoralizing stint in the Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green describes his life and education at the Art Institute in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green discusses his early exposure in the art world

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green finds his voice as an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green creates bridges within Chicago's arts community

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green accepts a complement for his 'Three Sisters' painting

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green reveals the inspiration for his bright palette choices

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green notes the lack of coursework in African American drwaing at the SAIC

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jonathan Green describes his relationship with Richard Weedman

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jonathan Green discusses Gullah influence behind 'Three Sisters' and other works

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jonathan Green flirts with different painting styles and subject matter

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jonathan Green reveals the inspiration behind several series of paintings

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jonathan Green shares his working style on commissioned pieces fro collectors

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jonathan Green details his daily schedule and development of his art studio

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jonathan Green describes how he manages his art business

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jonathan Green discusses the market value of his work

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Jonathan Green shares other passions outside of his art

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jonathan Green talks about the appeal of African American art

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jonathan Green responds to the interviewer's query on his use of the term Afro-American

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jonathan Green wants to be remembered for his work as an artist

Margaret Burroughs

Artist, educator and institution-builder Margaret Burroughs was born on November 1, 1917 in Saint Rose, Louisiana. Always passionate about learning, Margaret moved north to Chicago in order to earn her Elementary Teacher's Certificate, which she received in 1937 from Chicago Normal College. She continued her education first at Chicago Teachers College, and later, at the Art Institute of Chicago, from which she earned her B.A. in Art Education in 1946 and her M.A. in 1948.

Dr. Margaret Burroughs made the first of her many contributions to African American arts and culture when she founded--at age 22--the South Side Community Art Center, a community organization that serves as a gallery and workshop studio for artists and students. Mrs. Burroughs continued to serve on the Board of Directors for the Center, which remained active more than sixty years after its formation.

During the mid-1950s Margaret Burroughs married Charles Burroughs, poet and founder of the Associated Negro Press. His organization, modeled on the Associated Press, played an important role in the coordination of African American newspapers throughout the United States. After extended travels together, the Burroughs' made the most well-known contribution to African American posterity in 1961 when they founded the DuSable Museum of African American History on the ground floor of their Chicago home. The museum, which has since moved to its own buildings in Chicago's Washington Park, has become an internationally recognized resource for African American art. DuSable Museum also hosts various educational programs and houses a permanent collection of more than thirteen thousand artifacts, artworks and books.

Although Margaret Burroughs worked in sculpture, painting, and many other artforms throughout her career, it was her exceptional skill as a printmaker that earned her a place within the history of art. For many years she worked with linoleum block prints to create images evocative of African American culture. Margaret Burroughs' work was featured in exclusive shows at the Corcoran Art Galleries in Washington D.C. and at the Studio Museum in New York. She served as art director for the Negro Hall of Fame and illustrated many books including What Shall I Tell My Children Who are Black?(1968). Mrs. Burroughs also published several volumes of her own poems, illustrated a number of children's books, and exhibited her own artwork all over the world. In 1975 she received the President's Humanitarian Award and in 1977 was distinguished as one of Chicago's Most Influential Women by the Chicago Defender. February 1, 1986 was proclaimed "Dr. Margaret Burroughs Day" in Chicago by late Mayor Harold Washington.

Burroughs passed away on November 21, 2010 at age 93.

Accession Number

A2000.012

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/12/2000

Last Name

Burroughs

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Taylor

Organizations
Schools

James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School

William W. Carter Elementary School

Englewood High School

Chicago State University

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Teachers College, Columbia University

Illinois State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Margaret

Birth City, State, Country

Saint Rose

HM ID

BUR04

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

If first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/1/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/21/2010

Short Description

Printmaker and museum director Margaret Burroughs (1917 - 2010 ) was a prominent artist who helped establish Chicago's South Side Community Arts Center and co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History.

Employment

DuSable Museum of African American History

Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art

South Side Community Art Center

DuSable High School

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Margaret Burroughs Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs recalls her family background and early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs shares memories of growing up during the Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs remembers her childhood personality and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Margaret Burroughs recounts her high school aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Margaret Burroughs remembers those who encouraged her artistic pursuits

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Margaret Burroughs details her college experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Margaret Burroughs talks about how she inspires students to achieve

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs discusses the founding of the South Side Community Arts Center

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Interviewer reveals to Margaret Burroughs her motive for the HistoryMakers project

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs compares Chicago's arts scene to that of New York's Harlem Renaissance

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her medium in the context of her teaching

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her marriages, children and grandchildren

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs reveals the connection between her teaching and her artwork

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Margaret Burroughs explains her notion of herself as a "People's Painter"

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Margaret Burroughs talks about concept behind her children's story, 'Jasper, the Drummin' Boy'

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Margaret Burroughs talks about her affiliation with Paul Robeson and the McCarthy Era

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Margaret Burroughs explains the Mexico connection, its sphere of influence, and her community of comtemporary artists.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Margaret Burroughs recalls negotiating the sales of a few of her paintings

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her late husband, Charlie Burroughs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Margaret Burroughs discusses the precurser to the DuSable Museum

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs summarizes the origin of the DuSable Museum from its earliest years

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs details how she obtained funding to outfit the DuSable Museum of African American History

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs discusses transitions in Chicago's black arts community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs envisions a future for the DuSable Museum

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Margaret Burroughs shares her experiences traveling in Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Margaret Burroughs discusses her views on the African Diaspora

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Margaret Burroughs talks about influential persons in her life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Margaret Burroughs talks about her legacy and other African American artists who were her contemporaries

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Margaret Burroughs explains her philosophy of life, art, creativity, and teaching

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Margaret Burroughs comments on how she would like to be remembered