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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.

Grace Y. Ingleton

Social activist and health care professional Grace Y. Ingleton was born on September 14, 1936, in Panama, Republic of Panama, In 1955, Ingleton migrated to Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Prospect Heights high School. Later, she would attend Lincoln School for Nursing and receive a Nursing Diploma. Ingleton also earned B.S. and M.A. degrees in nursing from Long Island University. After graduating as a registered nurse, she joined the staff of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital.

Ingleton’s career in long term care began at Midway Nursing Home in 1973, where she has been the director of nursing services and administration for more than thirty years. Serving in this position, Ingleton has obtained several grants to prepare and present seminars and workshops on a variety of issues specific to the long term care industry and has consulted with many major health care organizations. She is also an adjunct nursing professor at the college and university level, lecturing at Medgar Evers College up to 2005. Ingleton is presently a nursing consultant to the Nursing Department at Parker Jewish Institute, part of Long Island Hospital.

Ingleton has been honored by several organizations including The Dedicators, Inc., the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.; Imani Literary Reading Group, Inc.; Savacou Fine Art Gallery; Celebration of Black Artist; The Black Nurses Day Community Services Award for her community service and professional activities.

Grace Ingleton is married to Edward I. Ingleton, who live in Brooklyn, New York.

Grace Ingleton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 1, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.163

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/1/2012

Last Name

Ingleton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Y.

Schools

Justo Arosemena Elementary

Liceo de Senoritas

La Boca Occupational High School

Prospect Heights High School

Lincoln School for Nursing

Long Island University

First Name

Grace

Birth City, State, Country

Panama City

HM ID

ING04

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Zealand

Favorite Quote

Remember To Do Something Nice To Someone Else, It Will Make You Feel Better.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/14/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Panama

Favorite Food

Cottage Cheese, Fruit

Short Description

Community activist and healthcare executive Grace Y. Ingleton (1936 - ) served as the director of nursing at numerous long term care facilities in the New York City area, including the Midway Nursing Home and the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. She was also a professor of nursing.

Employment

Brooklyn Jewish Hospital

Midway Nursing Home

Parker Jewish Institute*

Medgar Evers College

Provident Clinial Society Neighborhood Health Center

The Dedicators

Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation

Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation

Long Island University

Queensborough Community College

Heart to Art, Inc.

Imani Literary Group, Inc.

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Grace Y. Ingleton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about her maternal grandparents' migration to Panama

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about the West Indian community in Panama and the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her mother's life in Panama

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes the discrimination against West Indians in the Panama Canal Zone, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes the discrimination against West Indians in the Panama Canal Zone, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about her paternal grandparents' migration to the Panama Canal Zone

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her father's education and career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about her upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers the Escuela Justo Arosemana in Panama City, Panama

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers learning to speak Spanish in Panama

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers an influential teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her experiences of World War II in the Panama Canal Zone

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers the Liceo de Senoritas in Panama City, Panama

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her decision to attend high school in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her exposure to American culture in Panama

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers her transition to Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Grace Y. Ingleton recalls adapting to the winters in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her experiences at Prospect Heights High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers applying to nursing schools in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers the Lincoln School for Nurses in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes the founding of The Dedicators, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes the founding of The Dedicators, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about the Panamanian chapter of The Dedicators, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Grace Y. Ingleton recalls studying at Long Island University while working at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers joining the staff of the Midway Nursing Home in Queens, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers her leadership of the Midway Nursing Home in Queens, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton recalls the racial tensions during her tenure at the Midway Nursing Home

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her career after leaving the Midway Nursing Home

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her work as a healthcare educator and consultant

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about the rewards of nursing administration

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes Heart to Art, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Grace Y. Ingleton remembers the influence of Lawrence Dorsey

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Grace Y. Ingleton recalls her introduction to in the black arts community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about her art donation to the Links Foundation, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about her art donation to the Links Foundation, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton reflects upon her interest in art

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Grace Y. Ingleton talks about the Imani Literary Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes the philanthropy of the Imani Literary Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Grace Y. Ingleton reflects upon the importance of community engagement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American Community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Grace Y. Ingleton reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes her international travels

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Grace Y. Ingleton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Grace Y. Ingleton describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Grace Y. Ingleton describes the discrimination against West Indians in the Panama Canal Zone, pt. 1
Grace Y. Ingleton remembers her leadership of the Midway Nursing Home in Queens, New York
Transcript
I think you were telling me before we started that the Panama, the school system in Panama put a ceiling on where, how far you could go?$$Yes.$$So--$$On the canal zone's area, and the canal zone [Panama Canal Zone] was administered by the America- U.S. government, okay, and they had schools for West Indians, in particular, that went no further than the eighth grade. It wasn't until many years later that they started a high school and that had to be probably in the, the late '40s [1940s], that they started high school.$$So, let me get this straight. If you were a, some other nationality, you weren't a West Indian, you could get a higher education at the expense of the state?$$No you could not.$$You could not?$$No, because basically the workers were Hispanic or Caribbean, and Caribbean primarily, and you had Hispanics but they rarely worked for the canal zone and that's why there's always that, that, that discussion that the canal [Panama Canal] was built by West Indians. They don't get credit for it but there are a number of research, research has been done and shown that this is where the building of the canal came from, truly, West Indians, and those are the ones that came primarily from the West Indies that lived there and raised their families and their only job was to build a canal. So the education, as I said, they brought people with them, women in particular, that educated, trained, initially. I, I know that I learned my ABCs and my multiplication tables. I could, if you woke me up in the middle of the night, I said twelve times twelve is how much and I'd say 144 but I knew that when I was about three or four years old because I used to sit on the stairs, looking into an apartment, a little room, to a room that Mrs. Carrington [ph.] held classes for the children of the people in the community and she would have the front row is for those children that are from maybe kindergarten to third grade and then from fourth grade to eighth grade, you had another, another group that she trained or they went off then to the elementary school and later, much later, just before I came to this country in 1953, they, I guess at '53 [1953], yeah, '53 [1953], they, I went to the junior high school [La Boca Junior High School, La Boca, Panama] to complete my eighth grade and at that time they had then put, initiated, the high school that went from nine to twelve.$$Okay, but when your mother [Edith Pond Brown] was growing up--$$My mother--$$--she could only, she was allowed going to eighth grade--$$--she only could go to eighth grade, eighth grade--$$--but what you're saying is--$$--and my aunts.$$--is that her education was supplemented by the teachers that they brought over from--$$Exactly, yes.$$--home, from Montserrat?$$From Montserrat and from Trinidad and from Jamaica and Jamaica in particular, and Barbados. Barbados had people I recognized that were really quite bright, educated themselves but, or learned from the English, but they were really very well informed. If you had a Barbadian teacher, you were very proud.$Nineteen seventy-three [1973], at Midway Nursing Home [Maspeth, New York] now. You're the director--$$Yes.$$--of nursing services and administration and you were there for more than twenty-five years?$$No, no, no no--$$No? Okay.$$--I was there for ten years.$$Ten, okay, (laughter) we've got that wrong.$$Yeah, ten years, um-hm.$$Ten years, all right, that's a big difference. So, well tell us about that experience.$$It was an interesting experience because as I said, when Earline [Earline Ross] recommended me it was a new facility, it was a facility that was put into a community called Maspeth [Queens, New York] which was made up of people, Lithuanians and, and so on, Slavic areas and they, this community existed in a place called Maspeth, M-A-S-P-E-T-H, and the arrangement that the owners of the facility, Midway Nursing Home, had to make with them is that they will be willing to hire people from the community to work there, for them to get permission to put this site on, in the neighborhood, well, they shortly did, they got their approval. So when I was hired, I did not know that I had, I had to hire people from the community, solely, and I started doing that and when you came into the facility, and again I always seem to end up indirectly with some sort of racial situations, I, on the first floor was the administration staff. I was the only black person in, in the building, in the position of authority and because of my background, I was able to, the owners of the facility left me in charge of purchasing supplies, of hiring, developing their policy and procedure manuals and it was just a really tough job getting started but it was good, I looked at it as good experience for my future. And so when I started hiring, I was able to get people from the community to work the day shift which was seven to three [o'clock], up, a few to work three to eleven, very few to work eleven to seven was a difficult, a night tour, and, in the process of doing that, and this is way back then, in the '70s [1970s], right, in the process of doing that, I had to hire, no, I could not find people from the community to work nights and I'm having difficulty staffing. So I went to the owners and I said, "Look, I'm going to have to put an ad in the paper, not the local papers only, seeking help and hoping that people will come in, if they meet the criteria, then I'll hire them and I cannot just strictly depend on, because I cannot depend on the neighborhood people," so I did. And then when I started hiring, I had difficulty later on and in no time, the community had a community board meeting and they were raging against the owners and they're hiring people from out of the neighborhood and so, of course, all of this came to me, they said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm hiring people. I have to staff the place. I have a health code that I have to follow. I have to provide--." Well, "Why are you hiring those people?" Who are those people? I mean, I'm not conscious of those people. I'm hiring people to work that are willing to work and, and, and the community got together and said that they were not happy because I was hiring people, and I said, well you all define who I'm hiring that's a problem and then I had, they said I had, I was hiring people from Haitia- you know, Haitian people, I was hiring African American people, I was hiring Spanish people, I was hiring some Chinese, I had a few Chinese people, Vietnam, whatever it was, and I said, "Well those are the people that applied and they're qualified. I don't have people from the community coming in to work nights. If you can get me some people from the community that are willing to work the night tour, then I will not have these people and I will follow the guidelines which you all originally agreed to that, people from the community will be given the first choice," and I couldn't get them. And that created some stress between the day shift, the evening shift, and the night tour. So I was constantly, you know, refereeing things through the supervisors, well, to the point that one lady came in one day and she said to me that, it was a horrible story, one of the aides, they had, you know, negative terminologies to call them as they took care of tha- them, as elderly, and this aide was from Brazil, came and said to me, "Mrs. Ingleton [HistoryMaker Grace Y. Ingleton], I don't like to be called names," and so on and so on and this lady, I said, "You're dealing with the elderly, you're dealing with people are confused and maybe they don't know what they're saying but your job is basically to provide care and not to be interacting in a negative way," and so on. She said, "That's fine if you're not delivering the care and having people call you all that they call you." I said, "That goes with the territory of having a job, human behavior, and your point is that you do not react to people the way they are treating you in that manner." Well, a couple of times I had residents that were so hostile from that environment that they spat in the face of one of the, the aides and she unfortunately returned the same negative response. And so, the reason I raised that is because it became quite a, quite a issue in the community and, you know, what the aide had done, not saying what the patient had done, and was back and forth. So I went through that period. I had to terminate the aide and then I thought about it and I said, well, you know, I'm going to give her a long suspension and I'm sure she will resign after that. She never resigned, she came back after nine months that I suspended her for but, but the problem with the situation that became a very hostile one, for me, for a period of time, but I was just determined that if I cannot find people from the community to work, I have to provide jobs to be fair to people that were willing to take the job and do it and I said it's going to be a battle of the wills because I, my goal was always, you bring me staff that were willing to work and I will be willing to hire them. If you cannot do that, then I think we meet halfway and you accept the people that are working, willing to do the work, and it took a while. I mean, I gained an enormous amount of respect from the staff and many of the community people and there are those that never ever accepted the fact that we were not able to staff with the people from the community, not looking at the fact that they were unable to provide the staff. It was a good learning experience for me because it, I mean, it made me a good administrator, I think, better than, than just the paperwork and the ordering and the budget and the policy and procedure, it taught me a lot about human behavior and, and learning when to be flexible and when not to be flexible and learning where to believe, to work by your, by your value system and it brought a lot of issues and value. What does it mean? Do I sacrifice providing quality care for the residents, for those people that are willing to come and do it and learn and provide good care or do I succumb to threats, really, subtle threats and, and verbal threats and so on. They used to look out for my car to come in, there were times that I would have a flat that, no one would know how I got the flat, you know.

Lee Ransaw

Fine artist and art professor Lee Ransaw, was born on March 24, 1938, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to Sylvia and Lee Lester. In 1955, Ransaw received his high school diploma from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He later attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he earned his B.A. degree in art education in 1962 and his M.A. degree in fine arts in 1966. In 1973, Ransaw received his Ed.D. degree from Illinois State University.

While Ransaw was a graduate student at Illinois State University, he travelled to Nashville, Tennessee where he met artist and scholar David Driskell. This visit inspired Ransaw to begin collecting artwork for his private art collection. After taking courses at Pratt Institute in New York, Ransaw moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught African art and Afro-American art at Emory University. In 1979, Ransaw was hired at Morris Brown College as an art professor where he painted the Centennial Mural which depicted the history of the college. The mural was considered to be a national project and was commissioned by the Atlanta Coca Cola Bottling Company. In 2002, Ransaw along with Lamar Wilson, director of Ruth Hall Hodges Art Gallery, founded The National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (NAAHBCU) on the campus of Morris Brown College. Ransaw, then dean of arts and letters, and chair of the fine art department at the college, initially held a statewide exhibit that featured the artwork of the art faculty from Georgia based HBCUs. NAAHBCU held its first major traveling exhibition entitled Visions From Within at the James Kemp Gallery at The Black Academy of Arts & Letters in Dallas, Texas and featured thirty artists. In 2004, Ransaw was hired as an adjunct art professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Ramsaw retired as president of NAAHBCU in 2010 and served as chairman of the organization.

Among his many honors and awards were The Distinguished United Negro College Fund Scholars Award in Washington, D.C., The Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Ford Foundation Fellowship, and a Bronze Jubilee Award for artistic achievement given by PBS in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lee Ransaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April, 19, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.026

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/19/2011

Last Name

Ransaw

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Shortridge High School

Indiana University

Illinois State University

George Washington Carver Elementary School 87

Pulaski Elementary School

Indiana University Northwest

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lee

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

RAN09

Favorite Season

May

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern France

Favorite Quote

Be Well, Do Good Work, And Keep In Touch.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Fine artist and art professor Lee Ransaw (1938 - ) was the dean of arts and letters and chair of the fine arts department at Morris Brown College and founder of The National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges.

Employment

Emory University

Morris Brown College

National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges

Spelman College

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lee Ransaw's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw describes his father's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw remembers his stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw remembers moving to Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw talks about his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw remembers living with his maternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending East Pulaski School in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lee Ransaw talks about his early interest in art

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lee Ransaw describes his earliest memories of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lee Ransaw describes his neighborhood in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lee Ransaw talks about housing segregation in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending George Washington Carver Elementary School 87 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw remembers his favorite subjects in school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw recalls attending University United Methodist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw describes his neighborhood in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw recalls his teachers and classmates

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes race relations in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw talks about African American representation in the media

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw recalls his decision to attend John Herron Art Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw describes his mother's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw recalls transferring to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw describes race relations at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw remembers his professors at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw describes his art education at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw recalls his experiences at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw remembers his appointment to cryptologic linguist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw recalls being stationed with the U.S. Army in Venice, Italy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw describes his role as a cryptologic linguist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw recalls his first teaching job

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw remembers the deaths of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw describes his dissertation on the Wall of Respect

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw recalls his introduction to African American art

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw describes his early knowledge of the black aesthetic

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw talks about his dissertation committee, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw talks about his dissertation committee, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes his children

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw recalls being hired at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw recalls becoming department chair at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw remembers receiving a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw recalls starting his art collection

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw describes living and working in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw talks about some of his art exhibits

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw describes his improvements to the art department at Morris Brown College

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw recalls painting murals for Morris Brown College

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes his artwork, 'Dance of the Chicken Thieves'

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw recalls receiving a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw describes Atlanta's artistic renaissance

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lee Ransaw talks about strategy behind collecting art

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Lee Ransaw recalls the founding of the National Black Arts Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Lee Ransaw describes his work at Morris Brown College in the late 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lee Ransaw talks about organizing an exhibit for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lee Ransaw recalls founding the National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lee Ransaw reflects upon his accomplishments and fellowships

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lee Ransaw recalls helping Dan Moore, Sr. to establish the APEX Museum in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lee Ransaw remembers painter Benny Andrews

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lee Ransaw describes the exhibit 'Coming by Force: Overcoming by Choice'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lee Ransaw talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lee Ransaw describes his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lee Ransaw shares a message for future generations of artists

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Lee Ransaw reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

8$10

DATitle
Lee Ransaw recalls being stationed with the U.S. Army in Venice, Italy
Lee Ransaw recalls his decision to attend John Herron Art Institute
Transcript
So I got my assignment. Everybody got their assignments at Fort Gordon [Georgia]. Mine didn't come through. Everybody got their assignments. Some went to Vietnam and some went every place, and they didn't come to me. And they had a list of the top five or six graduates for crypto school[cryptologic school]. I was number four. The top five was supposed to go to Paris [France]. And, and four of 'em went, and I didn't go. They kept me there on post. And so I didn't know what it was, so I went to the IG, the inspector general and said, you know, "This is racism. Why didn't I get my assignment," which was a civilian status job in Paris. He said, "Well, I'm gonna look into this, we're gonna look into this and find out why you didn't get this school." So they came back with the excuse that they wanted me there on post to play basketball and play baseball. I said, "But you guys didn't know I play basketball. How you gonna put me on basketball team?" Said, "We'll cut you another assignment." So two or three weeks later--they didn't tell me where they were sending me, they put me on a plane to New York. And I ended up in New York at the fort up there, I can't remember the fort. But I went there. And they had APO 221 on my, for my mail. And so I went to the post office 'cause mother [Sylvia Hall Ransaw] and everybody was asking me, "Where are you going?" And I couldn't tell 'em. So I went to APO 221, and that was Italy. I was supposed to go to Italy, and I said, "Well, that's a pretty good assignment." But in this crypto school, which is interesting, they give you a lie detector test as I said. And on this test, they'll ask you a lot of questions, and then one of the questions they came to, they said, "Have you ever cheated on a college exam before?" I said, "No." Then they went down and asked some more questions. And they came back to that same question, "Have you ever cheated on a college--," they asked it a different way. My heart started jumping, and I remembered the time that I had looked on somebody else's paper for something, and I said, "No." So we got through the test, and he unstrapped me. He got me up, and he said, "Do you have anything to say?" I said, "Oh, yeah, on that college exam, you asked me one question, I remembered I had looked on somebody else's paper." He said, "I'm glad you told me that 'cause we were about to kick you out of school" (laughter). I was about to be gone. But I got a very nice assignment in Venice, Italy, Venezia, Italy, in crypto--and where I wanted to be. That's because it's a center of art, Venice, Venezia, Florence [Italy], Rome [Italy] and I stayed over there for several years playing basketball and finished up [U.S.] military.$$Because this is the time of Vietnam, you have this really nice assignment in Italy, but did you understand about the Vietnam War? At that time, did you understand what was going on?$$I understand--I understood when I got to Italy because several of my friends that were over there got killed. And I did crypto so Red Cross would send me messages, and I'd see their names come across. And I knew these people, a lot of these people that were getting killed over there. They were down at Fort Gordon, Fort Leonard Wood [Missouri] with me. And I knew the gravity of that situation over there, and it's just fortunate I didn't get sent over there.$$Okay, and so how long were you in Italy?$$I was there for about three years.$Who helped you prepare for college? Did you know that you were definitely gonna go to college?$$I knew a long time ago that I was gonna go to college, yes, I did. I knew. And I think my role model for that, it was interesting. I had, was out playing basketball one day with the guys on the, in the community center. And one of the guys who was playing, he was very good. And I was guarding him, and we started talking, and I said, "What do you do?" And he said, "I teach at a college." And he named the college out in California that he taught at. And I said, man, this guy plays basketball and doing real well, and he's teaching at a college, a young guy like this. You know, I think I might wanna do that, you know. And that was one of the things that got in my head early in life that I wanted to do. And the other thing, I was watching a television program. And I can't think of the actor's name, but he was, the scene of his, his series was that he was a college professor. And he used to wear a sweater all the time. And he was very mild mannered, and he spoke in a very mild mannered. And I said, "Man, that's an idea. I'd sure like to do what he's doing," you know. Well, those two things kind of stuck in my head, you know, for a long time. And I said, "Well, you know, I think I'd like to go to college," you know. And I always worked towards that at that point, you know. And then the things that I learned at Shortridge [Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, Indiana] kind of more or less cemented that desire to go and, go to college.$$How did you decide what college you would go to or apply to?$$Well, the most popular college in Indiana was Indiana University [Bloomington, Indiana]. Everybody, 'cause everybody started talking it up, kids from other areas, friends, and they wanted to go to IU. And so I was in art, and I wanted to go to IU too, but my mother [Sylvia Hall Ransaw] said, "No, you're not going down there your first year. We're gonna send you here to the extension, and you can take your art courses or take some courses over to John Herron [John Herron Art Institute; Herron School of Art and Design] or someplace like that." Well, John Herron was a very fine art school. It was located there too, in Indianapolis [Indiana]. Hale Woodruff and some of the other well known artists had gone to, had been a John Herron. So that's what I did. The first year I decided--and I worked. I went out to the, the state fair, got my first job at Allis Chalmers [Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Company], shining tractors. And I'd jump over the fence, go over there, go to work every day, and that gave me my first paycheck, all went toward college. Everything I started doing was directed toward college. So Mother could see that I was putting in and wanted to go that badly, she was gonna send me, but she wasn't gonna send me down on campus the first year. And it's a good thing she didn't because once I started going down there, I went down there, a lot of my friends who had gone down there partying and playing was coming back. They had flunked out. So when I went down, you know, I was pretty much prepared.$$And so what courses did you take at John Herron?$$I took still life painting, how to paint an apple so that if you put a fly on it, or paint a fly on it, it looks like it's real and all that stuff or one would be attracted to it. Those were the kind of courses I took, very varied (laughter). Then we'd go out sometimes and paint old sheds or old houses, draw 'em, and that was, that was very nice.

Bob Carter

Robert Carter is a New York illustrator, painter, and art professor. Carter was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 29, 1938 to Robert and Sarah Carter. He graduated from Central High School in 1955 with an interest and talent for art. Continuing his education he received his B.S. degree from the University of Louisville in 1959 and his M.F.A. degree from the prestigious Pratt Institute of Fine Arts two years later. His first job was as an artist for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he painted scenery before being used as a set designer, fabricator, and finally as a floor director.

Following his time at WHAS-TV, Carter began doing freelance work for several publishing companies including McGraw Hill, D.C. Heath (now known as Houghton Mifflin), and Simon & Schuster where his illustrations were featured in children’s books. Carter also started teaching at Nassau Community College in New York as a professor of art. He also lectured at public schools, universities, and private art organizations. In addition, Carter co-founded the National Drawing Association.

Carter’s art has been featured numerous times from Dallas to New York City. These include his exhibit “Carter Light” at Adelphi University and at the 1st Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show, both in 2010. In 2008, Carter was inducted as a legend into the Hall of Fame at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky. Carter was also honored as an outstanding artist at the 10th Annual Celebration of Black Artists by the dedicators in New York. His website, Robert Carter Studio, created in 2006, acts as a portfolio for his work.

His wife, Panchita, is a fine art jeweler and together they have two daughters, Heather and Holly.

Robert Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.002

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2010

Last Name

Carter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G

Occupation
Schools

Harvey C. Russell Junior High School

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School

Louisville Central High School Magnet Career Academy

Paul Laurence Dunbar School

University of Louisville

Pratt Institute

School of Visual Arts

Parsons School of Design

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Organizations

First Name

Robert "Bob"

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

CAR19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

To Make A Long Story Short.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/29/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Art professor Bob Carter (1938 - ) cofounded the National Drawing Association, and taught at the Nassau Community College in New York.

Employment

WHAS-TV

Freelance

Nassau Community College

Favorite Color

All Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:984,24:1394,35:1886,43:4180,78:5233,91:9364,282:9688,291:35130,465:36330,482:40180,522:40990,533:42240,538:47042,586:50790,591:53770,631:56505,665:58195,702:63070,802:64370,832:67035,879:72974,940:76622,1008:80174,1048:81998,1069:94034,1220:122060,1548:122995,1562:126225,1605:134550,1671:139548,1747:139852,1752:147756,1910:148972,1933:156310,1961:160971,2078:176822,2260:178063,2281:194832,2521:195048,2527:196398,2532:204280,2608:206380,2641:210842,2708:211247,2715:211895,2725:225620,2879:226335,2891:232612,2961:233992,2991:235855,3024:237373,3051:241390,3061:241698,3066:245476,3108:247982,3148:249061,3166:250223,3187:259187,3339:265890,3385:269570,3448:269970,3454:270290,3459:270770,3466:271090,3501:276160,3552$0,0:11661,224:12006,232:13317,267:13593,272:25786,473:60654,1009:77536,1186:91974,1394:104216,1691:119340,1867:138308,2127:139936,2179:160069,2528:164651,2625:165125,2633:165599,2640:170655,2778:173736,2844:182987,2969:184407,3001:186900,3024
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Carter's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bob Carter lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bob Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bob Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bob Carter talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bob Carter describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bob Carter describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bob Carter describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bob Carter talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bob Carter talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bob Carter describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bob Carter talks about his father's service in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bob Carter recalls his father's start in the Louisville Metro Police Department

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bob Carter describes his father's career as a deputy coroner

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bob Carter talks about his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bob Carter recalls his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bob Carter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bob Carter talks about his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bob Carter talks about his activities at Louisville Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bob Carter recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bob Carter remembers his decision to attend the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bob Carter describes his mentors at the University of Louisville

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bob Carter talks about his experiences at the University of Louisville

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bob Carter remembers designing sets for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bob Carter remembers Sam Gilliam

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bob Carter recalls meeting celebrities at WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bob Carter describes his experiences of hiring discrimination in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bob Carter describes his master's thesis at the Pratt Institute in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his involvement with the National Conference of Artists

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bob Carter talks about his work at the Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bob Carter remembers founding the National Drawing Association

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bob Carter describes his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bob Carter talks about the use of neon signage in his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bob Carter talks about the children in his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bob Carter shares his perspective on the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bob Carter talks about his interest in academia and teaching

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bob Carter describes his artistic influences

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bob Carter reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bob Carter describes his artistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bob Carter recalls his favorite paintings

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bob Carter remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bob Carter describes his current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bob Carter describes the changes in the fine arts

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bob Carter reflects upon his experiences as an art teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bob Carter describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bob Carter reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bob Carter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Bob Carter describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Carter's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bob Carter lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bob Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bob Carter talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bob Carter narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Bob Carter describes his artwork
Bob Carter talks about his interest in academia and teaching
Transcript
Well tell us about your work. Now what is your, what do you like to work in, what kind of work are you constantly trying to do, and what is your philosophy of art? And we'll probably forget all those three, I have to come back and get them (laughter), but tell us something about your art work.$$Well, I've always been centered around a figure. Many of the figures are black images, but I was thinking about this just the other day, although I use black images, it's intended to speak to universals and very often, and because of that many would consider me an ethnic artist. And I feel almost offended when that term is used, when it's used improperly because ethnic implies there's a Eurocentric standard, and everything else is ethnic when we all are ethnic it's a question of which variety, of which particular. So I think that that's often misunderstood because of the fact that I use black as a vehicle I would like to think I'm speaking to, as I said the entirety. There's certain peculiarities that each ethnic group, each geographic group, each cultural group might have, and there are times I would respond to that. But usually the figures are my fo- I'll give you an example I did one painting that is called 'The Jazz Lesson' [ph.], and it's a painting of a grandfather teaching a grandson how to play the saxophone. Now it's inspired by Tanner [Henry Ossawa Tanner], 'A Banjo Lesson' [sic. 'The Banjo Lesson'], so though Tanner's painting and mine are using or employing black images as vehicles, the real theme is the, is the bridging of a generation gap, the grandfather passing on something to the, to the grandson. And for me, you know, if that connection could have been made with any eth- ethnic group. But, you know, like many, you know, I experimented here and there, but basically I find the figure as my vehicle to share certain ideas that are important to me. Sometimes it's social, sometimes it's political, depending on the moment and what I'm trying to, you know, to achieve. Basically the image philosophy--basically I feel that art is a communication process, and you're trying to make a connection, and I feel that whether it's musical--done musically or done through dance. And I'll listen to--for example I'm doing something now, if it works, 'cause whenever you're in the middle of a piece, you--it may not work, but Peggy Lee came out with a song called 'Is That All There Is?'. I don't know if that rings a, rings a bell.$$Oh, yeah, yeah.$$But it's a very--for me, it's a very, very special piece of music that gives you a sense of what life--makes you think about what life is about, if you remember some of the lyrics to it. And, so I say that to say that when I listen to music or go to a play and I'm really moved, my intent is boy, I want to move people like that so that's what I mean by communication. I feel that, those that aren't connecting are in some sort of therapeutic process, important but not necessarily connecting, and I think that whether it's dance or music or poetry and liter- there's a line between executor and the recipient, and I hope to make that, you know, very, very special. And the skills, the media is simply a manifestation of a ve- of a vehicle to make that statement. And as I, as I tell my students, you know, the--you mentioned, you asked me about color earlier, the color is simply one of the many facets of trying to convey the attitude. If the attitude would work better with green then, you know, you use green or whatever, whatever might be the--or media.$As a member of the education community, you're obliged to try to be in the middle so that the student is aware of the--that range. As an individual artist, again many of my images do use the black image because I feel that we're a part of the universe, and if I can show compassion, I can show it with a, with a black image as well as a white. So if I, if I, If I'm labeled ethnic, I think that's the bias of what ethnicity means--that's the bias that--of what ethnicity means to the spokesperson or to the person doing the speaking. In other words, if they're thinking of again Western Europe as the standard and I, and I feel that the universe is the standard, Western Union--Western Europe is simply a part of that standard.$$Right, right, yeah.$$That's--$$To define art as, you know, European art is art and then every--is universal art and then everything else is (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Exac- well, see and that's what I object to. As a matter of fact, I came when--during a time African art was considered folk art, ethnic art. What was the, what was the, there was another term, not tribal.$$Primitive art.$$Primitive, thank you, primitive and one of my close friends who was doing a doctorate at that time said--used to use those terms in in her doctoral training and I said, "Don't, that's not true, you know, it's just simply, it's another, another form, not directly controlled by Western, so called Western standard." And she changed, you know, not because we're friends. You know, it was one of those intellectual dialogues that paid off (laughter) and that's really what attracted me to college teach- teaching. I said this the other day because at this point I'm still there because I still find positive--every now and then a day comes up I say, "Why am I doing this," you know, because of some- something went that day, a meeting that you didn't want to go to or whatever, but my way of expressing what brought me to college teaching was it's great to argue about how many saints, no how many angels dance on the head of a pin which is a cli- kind of a cliche. If you're with good people you have, you can argue about that. You may never agree, but you can argue, you know, hopefully intelligently and with some sensitivity, and it's just a good arena for that. Some of the people that I know in, in the commercial art world doing, you know, well, graphic design, but I don't know a lot of, a lot of those people. One of my closest friends doing storyboard and cartooning and so forth, one of their problems is isolation. One of my very good friends, Stan Goldberg, who does Archie, Archie Comics [Archie Comic Publications, Inc.], don't call him if you're in a hurry 'cause he's going to talk to you for a half hour because he doesn't have conversation every day, you know, he's isolated. He takes his stuff to the publisher and goes back to the studio whereas the college community brings you into a community that, that, that offers the poss- the potential for dialogue.

Georgette Seabrooke Powell

Art therapist, non-profit chief executive, and painter Georgette Ernestine Seabrooke Powell was born on August 2, 1916 in Charleston, South Carolina to Anna and George Seabrooke. Powell grew up in the Yorkville neighborhood of New York City. In the 1930s, she graduated from Washington Irving High School in New York City. She also studied art at the Harlem Art Workshop and the Harlem Community Art Center. In 1933, Powell began majoring in art at Cooper Union Art School in New York, and during this time she was selected to be a part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Federal Arts Project.

As an artist through the WPA from 1936-1939 she created murals at Queens General Hospital and Harlem Hospital as well as and did some public art. In 1959, Powell's family moved to Washington, D.C., where she became immersed in Washington's arts society. Studying art therapy in the early 1960s, at the Metropolitan Mental Health Skills Center and the Washington School of Psychiatry, Powell became a registered arts therapist through the American Art Therapy Association. She taught art to promote skill building and self-esteem with mentally ill patients at D.C. General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. In 1973, Powell earned her B.F.A. degree from Howard University. In 1975, she founded and directed the Tomorrow’s Art World Center, Inc. to assist young aspiring artists. Powell was a member and President of the District of Columbia Art Association between 1974 and 1998.

Powell’s artistry appeared in seventy-two major art exhibits between 1933 and 2003. She exhibited throughout the United States and in Venezuela, Nigeria and Senegal. Her exhibits have included: a one woman show, “Radiance and Reality,” which she showcased at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington; and a 1995 show, “Art Changes Things” which was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute. Her works hang in distinguished permanent collections across the country. An example is "Grandmother’s Birthday," which was acquired by and hangs at the Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois.

Georgette Ernestine Seabrooke Powell resides in Palm Coast, Florida and enjoys the company of her three children, grand-children and great-grandchildren.

Georgette Seabrooke Powell passed away on December 27, 2011 at the age of 95.

Georgette Ernestine Seabrooke Powell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 8, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.135

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/8/2006

Last Name

Powell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Seabrook

Schools

Washington Irving High School

Fordham University

Washington School of Psychiatry

Turtle Bay Music School

Cooper Union

P.S. 6 Lillie D. Blake School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Georgette

Birth City, State, Country

Charleston

HM ID

POW08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

8/2/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Palm Coast

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice, Okra, Gumbo, Chicken, Fish

Death Date

12/27/2011

Short Description

Art therapist, nonprofit chief executive, and painter Georgette Seabrooke Powell (1916 - 2011 ) was the last of the Black Renaissance painters of the 1930's Works Progress Administration. Her paintings appeared in over seventy-two major art exhibits.

Employment

United States Works Progress Administration

District of Columbia General Hospital

District of Columbia Department of Recreation

Powell's Lodge Art Studio

Tomorrow's World Art Theater

Favorite Color

Blue, Violet

Timing Pairs
0,0:7719,210:10695,252:31180,505:33380,529:36180,575:53694,753:54724,769:57402,794:60492,839:81345,1014:81993,1033:82317,1038:84423,1072:84747,1077:85071,1096:117660,1478$0,0:26128,439:26856,450:28858,477:31406,501:48238,628:57300,700:66903,777:68455,800:69522,808:71268,827:71947,836:72723,847:77981,890:83973,1054:97835,1130:98690,1141:99830,1151:101350,1179:105815,1273:118785,1395:146061,1691:152752,1738:156356,1799:157416,1810:158052,1817:162944,1832:171862,1934:175047,1972:179779,2047:180416,2056:182054,2075:188068,2091:193796,2167:195308,2193:196652,2208:197072,2214:197660,2223:202364,2303:216480,2450:218560,2477:218880,2482:219280,2488:222000,2527:223840,2546:225440,2574:234216,2620:236941,2634:239557,2667:240538,2679:246990,2762
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Georgette Seabrooke Powell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls moving to New York City as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her family's life in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers attending New York City's P.S. 6

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her early interest in art

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her education at P.S. 6

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls her decision to attend Washington Irving High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers Washington Irving High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her early art pieces

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers the Harlem Arts Workshop

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls the art workshops in Harlem

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls seeking employment after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recall her admission to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls being hired by the Works Progress Administration

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers creating a mural at Harlem Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls the opposition to her mural at Harlem Hospital, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls the opposition to her mural at Harlem Hospital, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her mural, 'Recreation in Harlem'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her work with the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her children

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell talks about returning to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers opening the Powell Art Studio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her introduction to art therapy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls working in art therapy in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes the impact of art therapy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell talks about the collectors of her art

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers earning her degree at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls travelling with Lois Mailou Jones

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls founding the Operation Heritage Art Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers changing the name of her art center

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell reads a letter from President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her community art projects

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell talks about her art exhibitions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls her exhibit at the Charleston Black Arts Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell reflects upon the changes in her artistic style

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell remembers her collaboration with Allan Crite

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Georgette Seabrooke Powell narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

8$9

DATitle
Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls travelling with Lois Mailou Jones
Georgette Seabrooke Powell recalls founding the Operation Heritage Art Center in Washington, D.C.
Transcript
When you were at Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] in the school without walls [University Without Walls] studying art--$$Yeah.$$--did you know and meet Lois Jones [Lois Mailou Jones] at that time?$$Well, I--$$Was she around?$$Yes, prior to that, and I don't know (unclear). My children have been instrumental in many ways in finding about things, like, of course, my daughter [Phyllis Powell Washington] (unclear) Blue Cross, Blue Shield. But, Richard [Richard Victor Powell], again, he had found out, you know, he says, "You and daddy [George Powell] have not taken any trips, any long trips or anything. In fact, I don't think I've been on a plane with you." And so it was this 'round the world trip, and Lois Jones had, had the trips planned for her students each year. And this was a biggie. This was a big--this was around the world. And so we found, we said, okay, we'll try to go. And that, actually, I think I met Lois before, but it, more and more, a closer friendship. And actually, there weren't that many students who signed up, but there were some people, older people and so forth, and we had a wonderful time. It was, only about seventeen or eighteen of us, you know. And we went around the world in thirty-five days.$$Wow, with Lois?$$With Lois (laughter).$$Okay.$$(Laughter) An introduction to all the countries. And, well, of course, Africa was not included, but we went to New Delhi [India], Hong Kong, you name it. It was that, yeah.$You started, I think it was 1969, something called Tomorrow's World Art Center [Operation Heritage Art Center; Tomorrow's World Art Center, Washington, D.C.] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Tomorrow's--$$Tell me about that. What was that?$$Yeah, that's another thing. Since, living in the Bronx [New York] and so forth, neighborhood, as neighborhood folks and people who want to improve their, you know, environment and so forth, we had made up an organization, Patona [ph.] community organization, cooperate in the interest of your neighbor and so forth. And, and those folks, they used to make a paper, and they turned our house into a meeting place and so forth and so on. And so therefore, I think that sort of helped me to want to do things when I didn't come down to Washington [D.C.], not knowing anyone, I soon did find out that there were groups of artists. Number one, I was able to be admitted in the D.C. Teachers College [District of Columbia Teachers College; University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.] for the Saturday classes and so forth. And then the other was, mingling with more people, I decided to work part time with the department of recreation [D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation] and so forth, and they, too, had the art classes and so forth. And this was on, I--when I had the studio on 14th Street, my son, Richard [Richard Victor Powell], decided to go back to Chicago [Illinois] to live, and I walked the streets, and I found this spacious and very nice building. And it had a office available, and so I rented that as a studio for myself. And then I said--the next one became available. I rented that. And then my mind, to me, I said people aren't doing enough for each other here. It's not like New York [New York]. I didn't see this feeling of coming together. And that really was a no, no. So, then I said, well, there was this young man who I had met through just association of one another, you know, attending the neighborhood affairs and so forth. And he said, oh. He had just put together Operation Heritage, and I said, "Well, that's nice. What do you do?" And he named how he wanted it, just enlarged in terms of writing all of these kinds of things, including arts. And I thought that was great. And, but then I had the space, but he had the idea. And, but he talked, talked, talked in thankfulness, and to this day, he--I sort of thank him in a way, too, because I said, you know, to do--and talk about something and not being able to have a team. So that was when I first put in for the first grant to the national endowment to have classes up at this, at the art center which we first named Operation Heritage Art Center.$$I see.$$And, so that went on several years.$$Um-hm.

Shirley Ann Woodson Reid

Artist and educator Shirley Woodson Reid was born on March 3, 1936 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Her father, Claude Elwood Woodson, worked for contractor Abraham McKissack, a relative of Reid’s mother, Celia Trotter Woodson. Attending Columbia Elementary School and Sherrill Elementary School, Reid captained the cheerleaders and graduated from Chadsey High School in 1954. She earned her B.F.A. degree from Wayne State University in 1958 and her M.A. degree from the same university in 1966. While attending MacDowell Artist Colony on a fellowship, Reid met her husband, Edsel B. Reid. In 1970, Reid attended the Conference on the Functional Aspects of Black Art (CONFABA) at Northwestern University.

Reid worked as an art education specialist in the Highland Park (Michigan) School District from 1966 to 1992. An art education professor at Wayne State University from 1996 to 2000, Reid started serving as art education supervisor for the Detroit Public Schools in 1992. She also served as director of the Pyramid Art Gallery from 1979 to 1980. Sought after as an art historian, Reid has been interviewed by the Detroit media many times since 1972 and has contributed to scores of newspaper and magazine articles.

Since 1974, Reid has been a member of the national executive board of the National Conference of Artists and in 1997 she was elected president of the Michigan chapter. A board member of the Ellington White Project, Reid is also a member of the Detroit Art Teachers Association, College Art Association, National Art Education Association and the Michigan Art Education Association. Reid’s paintings of African American life are a part of 22 collections housed by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Museum of the National Center for Afro American Artists (Boston), Detroit Edison, the Toledo Art Commission, Florida A&M University and Seagrams. She has two sons, Khari and Senghor Reid.

Accession Number

A2005.100

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/7/2005

Last Name

Woodson-Reid

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Ann

Schools

Chadsey High School

Wayne State University

Sherrill Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Shirley

Birth City, State, Country

Pulaski

HM ID

WOO06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Quote

Lord Have Mercy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

3/3/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn (Fried)

Short Description

Painter and art education specialist Shirley Ann Woodson Reid (1936 - ) is most know for her paintings of African American life, which are a part of twenty-two collections housed by the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Studio Museum of Harlem, among other notable institutions. Woodson-Reid has also taught at Wayne State University, and has served as art education supervisor for the Detroit Public Schools since 1974.

Employment

Detroit Public Schools

Wayne State University

Highland Park School District

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:7979,233:15202,353:15904,363:17074,394:19102,442:21208,485:29545,612:31855,638:34539,658:34944,664:36078,678:36402,683:37293,697:41667,787:50318,863:52502,903:53139,911:57052,975:63558,1041:68950,1097:72981,1123:74597,1151:76415,1172:77122,1181:79135,1196:88900,1409:91210,1602:114739,1801:118402,1972:125629,2058:126520,2070:134655,2136:137749,2198:139114,2226:140479,2248:141025,2255:142481,2283:142845,2288:143209,2293:151114,2352:155082,2404:155670,2416:157434,2495:158610,2510:165248,2598:166908,2637:169481,2693:171888,2730:172718,2745:173382,2755:173797,2764:179300,2839:184800,2879:192388,2957:193356,3023:211190,3228$0,0:4950,232:35200,568:52342,769:52958,776:53486,784:54366,797:58715,849:59055,854:59990,867:60925,879:61350,885:65005,948:66025,961:66705,969:67385,978:72027,987:73008,999:74207,1022:80400,1077:80784,1082:81360,1089:91632,1212:92592,1221:94800,1245:98736,1296:109660,1386:110290,1394:124972,1531:134507,1639:137244,1679:139498,1691:140346,1702:150180,1818:150500,1823:158088,1898:173756,2112:180792,2195:195930,2378:197100,2395:206976,2566:218875,2744:224452,2794:224788,2801:226470,2882
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shirley Ann Woodson Reid's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her maternal grandparents' homes

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her mother's childhood on a farm in Pulaski, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls her maternal uncles' work in the mines of West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her mother's unfulfilled desire to attend college

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her father's high schools in Pulaski and Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls how her parents met at a picnic in Pulaski, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls her mother's enjoyment of farm work

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls moving to Detroit, Michigan in 1936

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about attending St. Stephen A.M.E. Church in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls her interest in art as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about her teachers in elementary school in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry Murals

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls studying art at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about her school report on Harriet Tubman

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her religious extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes the Detroit Institute of Arts museum youth program

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls her lack of exposure to African American artists

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls studying art at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls her perspective on the murder of Emmett Till in 1955

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes how her artistic interest developed at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls learning about African American art in 1966

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls meeting Richard Hunt at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her gradual awakening to African American art

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes how her art changed after visiting Europe in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Shirley Ann Woodson describes her experiences as an African American woman in Europe in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about Cedric Dover's book 'American Negro Art'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes Romare Bearden's influence on her art

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about creating art with African American subjects

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid reflects upon her artistic style

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls seeing saxophonists John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders perform together in Detroit

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about teaching a course on black art and music at Highland Park Community College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about the book 'The Vanguard Artist' and its oversight of black artists in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes HistoryMaker Howardena Pindell's research on the exclusion of black artists from museums in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes the market for African American art

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls the Conference on the Functional Aspects of Black Art

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about art education in Detroit Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about her ancestor series

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about purchasing art by the African American painter, Jacob Lawrence

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid talks about where her artwork is collected

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes her masterpieces

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid reflects upon the importance of visual art

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Woodson Reid narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Shirley Ann Woodson Reid recalls meeting Richard Hunt at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Shirley Ann Woodson Reid describes the market for African American art
Transcript
How did you choose to go to the University of--I mean the [School of the] Art Institute of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]?$$Well, I wanted to--I didn't wanna go to Wayne [University; Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan]. I said, well I've got my first degree here, I don't wanna go and get my degree, let me try somewhere else. So I rode around to different places and I--you know, as I'm looking through material and I said, oh, here's something in Chicago [Illinois]. I've--my uncle lived in Chicago and his family, and I always loved Chicago. So I said, oh, I could--I could maybe go to Chicago. So I wrote for application for summer to see how I would like it and I went there for the summer. And it was in the--I took painting and art history and it was in the art history class that I met [HistoryMaker] Richard Hunt. That was in 1960. And he was taking the class--he was taking the art history class. It was really--it was called the history--it was really contemporary sculpture, but the instructor taught everything else that dealt with it, so it was really--it was a fabulous course. And at--we had a break. It was--we were--we were there like from eight to twelve for the class in the morning, and the afternoon was the painting. So every--when we take our break about ten o'clock, all the kids would go out and they'd all kind of rush around this young black guy. They'd all huddle around him and everything, and so there was another lady, African American lady in the class and we'd eat--you know, have our break, and I'd say, who are--who--why are all those--who is--who's that guy? All those people every time, they're always going and talking to him. She said, oh, that's Richard Hunt. I said, who's Richard Hunt? He's--she says, here, I'll show you and she took me around the corner and there was one of his gorgeous sculptures (laughter). She said the museum [Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois] bought that from him--bought that piece from him when he was eighteen (laughter), you know? I said, oh, okay. So that was my first awakening that there was something going on out here in the world that I didn't know about, but I was learning fast and I really enjoyed that. I met Richard, you know, we became friends and I--you know, we know each other. And--but anyway, and then we went on a tour of his studio and, and it was--at that time, it was in the home of his parents [Etoria Henderson Hunt and Cleophus Hunt] in the basement. He had all this metal and everything, and just, you know, it was--as I said, it was a real awakening. So I guess that was--I knew I wasn't gonna be the first woman--I mean, I was--I already met the first man that I thought--but still, this--the history of it, there was still no inclusion in terms of African American. It wasn't, as I said, until after that. These little, you know, bits and pieces you see, Archibald Motley, you know, they put him in--I knew about him from Ebony but they did him doing shower curtains if you remember that famous article. That was--that's how they covered him. They didn't cover him as an artist. They covered him as an artist who did designs on shower curtains, and so that's how I found out about him.$Off camera, we were talking--I was talking about the new boom in black folk art from the South.$$Right.$$You know if you go into the House of the Blues, for instance in, in Chicago [Illinois], it's filled with Negro--black folk art from down South--$$Yes.$$--and coffee table books written by--it's a whole movement now about black folk art and we're just discussing similar, the Haitian art, African art, people--usually white art dealers going to the regions and pick up this work for next to nothing--$$Right.$$--and then it's--now it's pricey.$$Right. Well, it's about the market. The centers of the art market are in New York [New York], London [England], and, well, Cologne [Germany] or wherever--Germany, wherever it would--wherever it would be. So, it's the United States, England, and Germany. It's still the core of the art market and it's probably the core of all other markets as well. And so in terms of African American artists, contemporary African American artists, that is not something, thankfully, that we have--that is something, I should say, that we have become involved in and enveloped and beginning to develop a market, a strong market with initiatives and so on. But reactions to that are that these--they're not interested unless they're gonna control it, so the white dealers who are not gonna have African American art, they're not gonna do that, but they're going to--they will develop a market in terms of the folk art, create big books, and have endless supply and, and continually to develop that. They want the aesthetic. The aesthetic--the aesthetic excites them but they're not interested in it unless they're--you know, it's in their hands. For example, I compare the work say of [HistoryMaker] Sam Gilliam and Frank Stella. Sam Gilliam is by far the more inventive, the more creative, but there's not one book, there's not one publication--there are catalogs, but there's not one publication out on this guy, on Sam Gilliam. He's a brilliant, brilliant artist, but I'm sure the Frank Stellas would stack up. And Frank Stella usually stays sort of in one vein of sculptural composition. And--but he's not--I mean, Sam, as I said, is by far--and that would be a contemporary, his contemporary. And you'll find the same with [HistoryMaker] Richard Hunt. Richard Hunt is a, you know, wealthy man according to what he's done, but there is not one major book. Rizzoli, Abrams [Harry N. Abrams, Inc.], whoever all these other people are that do the art books, there's nothing out on Richard Hunt. There's not--he's in catalogs. There's no book out on Richard Hunt. [HistoryMaker] Samella Lewis produced--even [Richmond] Barthe--a catalog for when they traveled abroad and, and she developed an exhibition, but nothing. And that was one of the things that had come out of CONFABA [Conference on the Functional Aspects of Black Art].

Lilian Thomas Burwell

Artist Lilian Thomas Burwell was born in Washington, D.C. on June 7, 1927. After completing junior high school, Burwell attended the prestigious High School of Music and Art in New York City, but moved to Washington, D.C., before graduating. Burwell went on to earn her high school diploma from Dunbar High School in 1944.

Burwell had a strong desire to be an artist, however, society, and her family, felt that she would be unable to support herself. One of Burwell's aunts believed in her though, and together they reached a compromise with her family: she would become an art teacher. In 1946, Burwell completed her studies at the Pratt Institute; she would later earn her B.A. from the D.C. Teacher’s College. Burwell went on to earn her M.F.A. in 1975 from Catholic University.

Throughout her career, Burwell taught at the Pratt Institute; in the Washington, D.C. public schools; and at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Between 1964 and 1967, Burwell served as the publication and exhibits specialist for the Department of Commerce. In 1983, Burwell founded the Alma Thomas Memorial Gallery where she served as curatorial director for the next year. As an artist, Burwell's works have been included in public and private collections around the world; she was also invited to participate in numerous group and one-woman shows. Burwell went on to become the owner of Burwell Studios, which exhibited her works.

In addition to being an active lecturer in her field, Burwell also published articles on art, and served on the board of directors of the Smithsonian Institution Renwick Alliance and the Arlington Arts Centers. Burwell also served as the curatorial director of the Summer Museum Archives in Washington, D.C., and was the recipient of several awards, including the Excellence in Arts/D.C. Commission on the Arts Individual Artist Award in 1998.

Accession Number

A2004.118

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/3/2004

Last Name

Burwell

Maker Category
Middle Name

Thomas

Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Pratt Institute

University of the District of Columbia

Catholic University of America

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lilian

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BUR11

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Whatever You Can Dream You Can Do, You Can Begin It For Courage Has Power, Genius, And Power In It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

6/7/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Painter and high school art teacher Lilian Thomas Burwell (1927 - ) was an acclaimed visual artist; her paintings were featured in public and private collections internationally, as well as in group and solo shows. Burwell was also the owner and operator of Burwell Studios.

Employment

Pratt Institute

District of Columbia Public Schools

Duke Ellington School of the Arts

United States Department of Commerce

Alma Thomas Memorial Gallery

Burwell Studios

Summer Museum Archives

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:936,6:1454,15:1898,23:2490,32:2786,37:6560,113:6930,119:8632,156:9224,171:11000,215:16207,252:16542,258:16810,263:17078,268:17949,283:18552,293:21366,367:22237,384:22639,391:23108,399:23644,414:25051,447:25319,452:28690,511:34010,571:35834,603:36290,610:37126,625:38038,646:43346,689:45317,735:45682,741:46047,748:46850,762:47215,768:53138,837:53486,844:59040,901:68377,1027:68742,1033:69545,1050:69837,1056:70129,1061:71151,1077:71443,1082:73487,1122:73852,1128:75312,1160:76918,1184:77502,1195:83327,1241:89795,1359:91874,1419:93106,1486:99750,1526:107372,1628:111516,1673:112440,1691:113196,1701:117804,1770:119164,1800:119776,1811:120116,1817:120660,1826:123501,1861:123866,1867:124377,1875:125910,1918:126202,1923:127740,1931$0,0:6000,111:24230,271:26080,307:26376,312:28300,348:29410,393:29706,398:33924,609:35700,643:36292,651:40530,666:40962,673:41610,685:42042,693:42402,700:43122,713:44202,739:46002,788:56818,932:64713,1051:70371,1159:76070,1235:76609,1244:77148,1253:78534,1285:83077,1375:83385,1380:84155,1391:85079,1417:97410,1576:97820,1582:101328,1590:102314,1621:102952,1640:103822,1653:104054,1658:108331,1710:114004,1791:117700,1811:118150,1818:118825,1828:120100,1851:122160,1861:135070,1996:135436,2003:135863,2012:136168,2018:137083,2042:137693,2055:141359,2091:143981,2157:146534,2230:147086,2239:147569,2248:151088,2354:167471,2665:171839,2745:180250,2876:180724,2884:181040,2889:182620,2912:183410,2928:184200,2941:187600,2958
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lilian Thomas Burwell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lilian Thomas Burwell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her mother's work and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her family's move to New York, New York in the late 1920s and her father's photography

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lilian Thomas Burwell lists the places she lived in New York, New York during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes the educational philosophy followed by the Little Red School House in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lilian Thomas Burwell explains how her father taught her to question authority and talks about his education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lilian Thomas Burwell compares her personality to her mother's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about the evolution of her spirituality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lilian Thomas Burwell lists the schools she attended in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her father's employment

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her educational experiences and struggles with math

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lilian Thomas Burwell explains why she completed high school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her early interest in art

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her daughter's decision to attend Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about the social climate of Dunbar High School and Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her experience studying art in high school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her educational influences at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her decision to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about dropping out of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, New York to get married

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lilian Thomas Burwell reflects upon her unsuccessful marriage and her philosophy on making mistakes

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her teaching career and earning her B.A. and M.F.A. degrees

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her foray into exhibition art

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lilian Thomas Burwell explains how she financially supported her career and began building furniture

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about constructing a bed for her daughter

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about working with Benjamin Abramowitz

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her painting process, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her painting process, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes constructing a mirror when her mother was ill with leukemia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes some of her art pieces, including her process for their construction

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes one of her sculptures, 'Masai,' and her sculptural painting technique

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes the type of paint she uses

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her art philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lilian Thomas Burwell shares people's responses to her art

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lilian Thomas Burwell explains how she names her pieces

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about African American art collectives

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about working on an art commission for Northern Trust in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about submitting her artwork to exhibitions as an African American artist

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her aunt, Hilda Wilkinson Brown, including her influence as an artist, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her aunt, Hilda Wilkinson Brown, including her influence as an artist, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lilian Thomas Burwell reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lilian Thomas Burwell reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lilian Thomas Burwell describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her painting process, pt. 1
Lilian Thomas Burwell talks about her aunt, Hilda Wilkinson Brown, including her influence as an artist, pt. 1
Transcript
And I began to build a painting just like a conversation builds. I can say something to you and realize it's not quite clear, I can't take back the words I said but I can modify it, I can explain it further by what follows. And abstract expressionism works just like that. You put something down and it's like a conversation, you put, you act and you react and you build and you're really working almost from an unconscious thing because you're just working with form. Now what was very interesting to me is that I found in many later years that I was painting things because they came out of me. I didn't know why I was doing them but I was doing them, so that paint was representing something of me, I didn't find out that until years later, when somebody would come up and start telling me what a painting that I had done was. I didn't know that that's what it was, but I knew that there were things that were true of me. And this happened after a period in which I had decided--oh, I was dating this guy and he had a grown daughter who was very, very intelligent and very sensitive and she always had an opinion about something and I had this little open house--open studio show at my house and she came over and she looked on the walls, and she had no comment. I said, "Well what do you think?" And she said, "I don't know, I don't know anything about art." I said, "That's a cop out, you have an opinion about everything, I wanna know what you think of my work," and she said "well, it just, everything is on a surface," she said "I think that there's more to you than I see on that canvas." And it was kind of a backhanded compliment, but I made a decision that if there was something more, then maybe I should try to discover what it was. So I stopped going to galleries, I stopped looking at other people's work. I just said, I'm gonna just start working from something that's inside of me and see what happens.$Let's talk about your aunt and you had--your aunt was an artist and--$$Right, I owe everything to her I think, because of the time that--$$And what's her name?$$Hilda Wilkinson Brown, or Hilda Rue Wilkinson, before she was married. If it hadn't been for her, I probably would not have certainly gone along this particular route to my art. At the time, halfway through [Paul Laurence Dunbar] High School [Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School, Washington, D.C.] when I informed my parents [Margaret Wilkinson Thomas and James Burchett Thomas] that I wanted to be an artist they thought I had lost my mind, certainly in the '40s [1940s], an African American woman wasn't going to be able to make a living as an artist unless you were in commercial art or design and even then, you know jobs were, did not, you know, did not welcome you in period, you had to sort of you know, burst into doors if you were black. So my Aunt Hilda said, "Let her teach it," and that was it so, when to Pratt [Institute, New York, New York], I went into art education because of her and she and her husband supported me, they even supplied the part of my tuition that was not scholarship and they paid for my books and they paid for my art materials. Later in life she told me I was the artist in the family and there was no way on earth that I compared my work with hers, I thought she was just absolutely fantastic, she had been a teacher, but she knew the, how prolific I was, I really devoted a lot of my time and my heart to the art and maybe that's the way in which she looked at it, I don't know, I didn't, I couldn't compare the quality of my work with hers at that time and I never pushed her to ask her why she said that, I just told her that it wasn't so, as far as I could see. But she did not work a lot, but she worked extremely well, what she did was masterful because I was executor for her, for her estate, I found work behind an old furnace in her basement done on a piece of canvas board and things that she never even signed, she didn't even put her paintings in her will, but she said because I was her executor, she had told me, "Well, I put certain things in my will because I want to be even handed about everything, but anything else you want", you know, "just anything else to say, just ask the people in the family what they want and let 'em have it." So I, you know, we had that, that personal understanding outside of the written will and I asked, "Did anybody want the paintings?" Nobody wanted the paintings, nobody wanted the drawings or the prints, it was like, well I don't know where I would put them on my wall, was one of those things. One cousin wanted a portrait that she had done of her and her sister when they were children, one of them wanted a screen, my uncle asked for a print, other than that nobody spoke up for anything, so I spent a good deal of time promoting her work and she's gotten an awful lot of attention lately.

Paul D. Goodnight

Artist Paul Goodnight was born in Chicago on December 31, 1946. At a young age, his mother took him to New London, Connecticut, and later to Boston, where a foster family raised him. After finishing high school, Goodnight was drafted into the Army, and served two years in Vietnam. The experience changed him and upon his return, he was unable to speak because of the horrors he witnessed there. Soon after, Goodnight began to paint, reverting to the means of expression he had employed as a child.

Finding release in his art, Goodnight regained his voice and enrolled in the Vesper George School of Art, taking English classes at a nearby community college to help him along the way. In 1976, he earned his B.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art. Goodnight continued to create, and in 1984 one of his works was displayed on an episode of The Cosby Show. Since then, his works have been featured in such programs as Seinfeld, ER and Living Single. Goodnight then began traveling the world, studying the art of the Caribbean, Africa, Russia and Asia, as well as working under contemporary masters such as Alan Crite and John Biggers.

In 1991, Goodnight founded Color Circle Art Publishing, which is dedicated to the perpetuation of the art and imagery of the African diaspora. His works adorn the homes of such notables as Maya Angelou, Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the halls of the Smithsonian Institute. In 1996, Goodnight was commissioned to create a piece for the 1996 Olympic Games, and in 1998, he designed the World Cup poster. He was awarded the U.S. Sports Academy Artist of the Year Award in 1997. Goodnight's biggest inspiration is his daughter, Aziza.

Accession Number

A2001.029

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/14/2003

Last Name

Goodnight

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Occupation
Schools

New London High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

GOO03

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil, Denver, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Charleston, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/31/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Fish

Short Description

Painter Paul D. Goodnight (1946 - ) was a Boston area artist whose painting, Links and Lineage has become a popular print.

Employment

Color Circle Art Publishing

Favorite Color

Orange, Pink, Turquoise

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Goodnight's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Goodnight lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Goodnight describes his experience as a foster child

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Goodnight describes his biological parent's background pt 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Goodnight describes his biological parents' background pt 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Goodnight describes his foster parents and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Goodnight describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Goodnight talks about life with his foster family, the Locketts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Goodnight describes himself as a student in grade school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paul Goodnight talks about his interest in art as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Goodnight talks about his athletic interests in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Goodnight describes his interests and experiences in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Goodnight recalls his foster father's speech on his high school graduation day

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Goodnight describes being falsely convicted and incarcerated on assault charges

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Goodnight reflects on the experience of being incarcerated

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Goodnight describes how his false incarceration affected him

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Goodnight talks about being drafted into the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Goodnight describes traumatic experiences in the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Goodnight talks about experiencing racism and violence during the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Goodnight describes the effects the Vietnam War had on him after being discharged in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Goodnight reflects on experiencing the Black Power Movement after being discharged from Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Goodnight talks about the effects of the Vietnam War and his introduction to heroin

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Goodnight describes his experience in art school in the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Goodnight describes his experience teaching after graduating from art school and forming alliances with other black artists

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Goodnight talks about his artistic development and his relationships with other black artists in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Goodnight talks about his trip to Haiti

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Goodnight talks about how the politics in Haiti influenced his art

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Goodnight describes traveling to Nicaragua during their revolution pt 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Goodnight describes traveling to Nicaragua during their revolution pt 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Goodnight talks about the black arts movement of the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Goodnight talks about creating artwork for Hollywood set design

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Goodnight talks about finding success with selling his prints that appeared on popular TV shows

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Goodnight talks about the effects of this commercial success and his decision to travel to Mozambique

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Goodnight talks about traveling to Brazil

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Goodnight reflects on learning to trust his happiness when he traveled to Brazil

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Goodnight talks about returning to art school after traveling in Brazil

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Goodnight talks about teaching young artists

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paul Goodnight describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paul Goodnight talks about his famous work of art, 'Links and Lineage'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paul Goodnight talks about mentorship among artists, including his relationship with John Biggers

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paul Goodnight talks about rites of passage for black men

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paul Goodnight reflects on his relationship with John Biggers

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paul Goodnight talks about what he learned from his relationships with other artists

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paul Goodnight talks about traveling to Ghana

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paul Goodnight talks about his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paul Goodnight narrates his photographs

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paul Goodnight narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

10$2

DATitle
Paul Goodnight talks about his interest in art as a child
Paul Goodnight talks about finding success with selling his prints that appeared on popular TV shows
Transcript
Now, did you, when you start discovering that you had a talent for art?$$I think I always had a talent for art. I think that that's one of the things that--art chooses you; you just recognize it at one point or another. I remember being sent up to my room. And I didn't mind being sent up to my room, because that was an excuse to go and draw, and I used to draw like crazy. I, I, always--I remember a guy, Butch Milliner, he used to be an artist in high school, and he would get all of the girls. And I said, "Well, I can do that." So, I would get all... You know, I would draw, but I was an ugly little critter. (Laughter). And so, it didn't work for me. The other time I knew that I had a talent is when I was in high school. And I would draw these, like, nudes in English class for maybe about a quarter, because I wanted lunch money. And instead of carrying a bag lunch, I would go and do a quarter... I mean, fifty cents was like a couple. And for an orgy, it was like a dollar and something, you know. And I'd have a great time doing that. And I, I remember getting caught by Miss Pijeski, my English teacher. She said, "Mr. Goodnight?" I said, "Yes, Miss Pijeski." She said, "Do you mind showing the rest of the class what you're doing?" Because she was peeking over my shoulder. I said, "Oh no, Miss Pijeski." She said, "Oh, I think you are. Bring your, come bring your paper up to the front of the class, and show the class what you've done." And I started walking up to the front of the class, and eating that paper. They were not going to see it. She sent me down to the principal's office and told me that--told the principal that I had been drawing pornographic material. Well, obviously, I wasn't a very good English student, because I didn't know what the word pornographic meant. So, I thought that she said I was drawing phonographs. (Laughter). She said, "You were drawing..." And she said... they said, "Mr. Goodnight, I understand that you were drawing pornographic material up in the English class." I said, "No, I ain't drawing no phonograph." They said, "Well, take this home and tell Mrs. Lockett about the pornographic material you've been drawing." I said, "Shoot, that ain't no problem." And so she asked me, she said, "What are you doing home?" I said, "They got me home here because I was drawing some phonographs." She said, "What? They told you to go home for drawing phonographs?" I said, "Yeah." And she said, "Well, let me find out about this." Now, she's on my side, (Laughter) on the way up. Coming home... Daddy Lockett tore me up. (Laughter).$$We're going to change tapes.$$Okay.$And what were the titles?$$'Links and Lineage,' 'Floral Arrangements of Senegal,' 'Listen to the Hip Bones,' and 'Cousins by the Dozens.' (Laughs) They were, we thought they were great, you know. And of course, all of our friends thought they were great. But we didn't know, and I had no idea that on the mass market, people just weren't buying black prints, even though these sit-coms were starting to demonstrate some income for artists who did have their works on these programs. So, I said... And we had borrowed this money from people who she knew, and who I knew. And we were going to pay it back by giving them the money back and doing the watercolor. So, it was--you know, it was a, it was a loan. And I said, "Elba [Vargas], we've got twenty thousand dollars of wallpaper here. We can't do anything with it." So, we've got to go to the convention. We snuck, we got into the convention. Of course, we did everything wrong at the conventions. We just peddled our works around to all of the publishers and printers in the convention until we got thrown out, because we weren't supposed to do that. And nobody would bite, nobody was interested. A small arts organization, a publisher and printer called 'Things Graphic,' ran by Ed Robinson, was the only person that really was interested in these prints. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he started selling these prints. And they started going like crazy, and money was coming in. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Cinema Arts, John Cleveland, really wanted it. The 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' was one of the most popular prints. It was called, a piece called 'Red Snapper.' It was on the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'. It was somewhere mounted between the kitchen and the living room, and you would pass by it all the time. We couldn't sell this piece for nothing. It came on Monday, 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air', and on Tuesday the piece started selling. I said, "Well, I'll be damned. This is, this is just unbelievable." We made close to-- and I don't even want to give you figures--but we made some real fat figures the first three or four weeks--the first three or four years of that; it just blossomed. People wanted to buy the originals of the piece. I gave her, [Lois] Mailou Jones, the one. [Foster] mother [Essie Lockett] got, bought the originals of another. But it just, it kept blossoming, it just kept going. And I realized that I'd better really understand what the business of this is all about. She was good, she had business savvy, coming back and forth. And she was, we were piling it in; had no idea that this thing could really, you know, you could sustain yourself over long periods of time. It was one of those things that, "Okay, we're set for life. (Laughter). This is it. This is the highest point of our lives." But like everything, it's a roller coaster; it had its ups and downs. But there were few artists out there at the time. And so, we were sort of, we were sort of pioneered that way. But at one point, I still found myself not... And once you make all the money and that kind of stuff, you find yourself not completely fulfilled as an artist. You know, and that's when I needed to get back in touch with these people who are really solid artists--solid people about the arts--solid about what their mission was supposed to be about. You know, and John Biggers was really solid about that. Allan Crite... there was a guy here, Dana [C.] Chandler. He was very political, very... his work spoke volumes. He never, he never bit his tooth about what he really wanted--bit his tongue--about what he was supposed to do, and what his mission was as an artist. That, to me, was content. And I was kind of getting away with that... getting away from that because of the amount of money that I was making.$$--Commercial success.$$Yeah...