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Release Date: February 22, 2017

African American Art World in 20th-Century Washington Explored in 2017 Wyeth Foundation for American Art Symposium at National Gallery of Art, Washington

Alma Thomas, American, 1891–1978, Red Rose Cantata, 1973, acrylic on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Gift of Vincent Melzac

Alma Thomas, American, 1891–1978
Red Rose Cantata, 1973
acrylic on canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Gift of Vincent Melzac

Washington, DC—The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art has announced that the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Symposium, entitled "The African American Art World in 20th-Century Washington, DC," will be held in the East Building Auditorium at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, on March 16–17, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This two-day symposium has been planned in collaboration with Gwendolyn H. Everett, associate dean of the division of fine arts and director of the gallery of art, Howard University, and includes Jacqueline Francis, California College of the Arts; Lauren Haynes, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Amy Kirschke, University of North Carolina, Wilmington; Robert G. O'Meally, Columbia University; Richard J. Powell, Duke University; Elsa Smithgall, The Phillips Collection; Jeffrey Stewart, University of California, Santa Barbara; John A. Tyson, National Gallery of Art; Tobias Wofford, Santa Clara University; and Rhea Combs, Paul Gardullo, Tuliza Fleming, and Jacquelyn D. Serwer, all curators at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Sessions will be moderated by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, National Museum of Africian American History; Charles Brock, National Gallery of Art; and Huey Copeland, Northwestern University.

Symposium topics encompass Washington collectors such as Thurlow Evans Tibbs Jr., whose collection and archive are at the National Gallery of Art; pivotal Washington artists and art professors including Alma Thomas, Loïs Mailou Jones, and James Porter; and the history of institutions supporting and exhibiting art by African American artists in Washington, including Howard University and the Scurlock Studio.

The symposium also will feature a panel of artists moderated by Ruth Fine, former senior curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, for whom Washington has been critical to personal artistic development: Lilian T. Burwell, Floyd Coleman, David C. Driskell, Sam Gilliam, Keith A. Morrison, Martin Puryear, Sylvia Snowden, and Lou Stovall. The panelists will discuss the impact of their experiences in Washington on their artistic careers.

About the Wyeth Foundation for American Art and The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA)

Since 2001, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art has supported a series of programs at the National Gallery of Art, coordinated by CASVA. With the foundation's support, CASVA has organized lectures by distinguished art historians on topics ranging from the portraiture of Thomas Eakins (Kathleen A. Foster, 2005) to the traditions of American war memorials (Kirk Savage, 2015). The biennial Wyeth Lectures in American Art are available on the National Gallery of Art website. CASVA has also hosted Wyeth Conferences, including "Images of the American Indian, 1600–2000" (2008) and "Religion in American Art" (2012). The 2017 symposium, "The African American Art World in 20th-Century Washington, DC," will continue the tradition of scholarship in American art at CASVA made possible by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. The papers delivered at the symposium will be published in the series "Studies in the History of Art."

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