Page 1

ARTS PROGRAM | UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE


Arts Program University of Maryland University College September 27, 2015–January 3, 2016


Javier Miyares President University of Maryland University College

Dear Patron of the Arts, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) focuses on teaching and learning and on bringing education within reach for everyone—in Maryland and around the world. Our Arts Program supports that mission, hosting public exhibitions, free of charge, that serve to introduce the work of new and established artists to a broader audience. Given that context, it is a special honor to host Delilah W. Pierce: Natural Perspective. Delilah Pierce’s career spanned more than 65 years. As an educator, she shared her talent with countless students and helped advance the field of art as a serious career choice. Generous with her talent and abilities, she engaged in “art activism” in the community. She was determined to help others understand art while advocating constantly for galleries and museums to include the work of African American artists. Pierce herself did not receive the national recognition she deserved as an artist, and this injustice underscores the importance of the UMUC Arts Program and programs like it. Her work is alive with color and infused with joy, and our world is richer for it. As president of UMUC, it gives me great pleasure to be able to showcase the life and work of Delilah W. Pierce, a consummate educator and artist. I hope you will enjoy this art, created by a woman who gave so much and asked so little in return. Sincerely,

Javier Miyares President University of Maryland University College

2

Katherine Lambert

Welcome


Steven Halperson

Introduction

Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College

For decades, visual artists have had to decide where to focus their artistic passion. That choice may be a factor in why some have achieved success while others have received little recognition. I would speculate that artists who became art activists, working to ensure that venues and institutions include the works of minority artists in their exhibition programs, often receive less notice for their own work in the field. These artists dedicated their time to teaching art, promoting art as a serious career, protesting for inclusion in exhibitions and public collections, and serving on various art committees. Their activism often overshadowed their artistic career. For those artists, fame came later in life, if at all. Delilah W. Pierce is one of those artists, although there has been a renewed interest in her works in the past few years. Art collectors and patrons in this region, however, have long been familiar with her name and her art. Pierce traveled throughout the region and to destinations such as Martha’s Vineyard and Africa, which inspired her to paint and create works on canvas and paper. Hers are well-balanced, realistic works with explorations of abstraction and expressionism that sometimes have a mysterious quality. Pierce was good friends with Alma Thomas and LoÏs Mailou Jones, both of whom have achieved a level of popularity and importance in the art world. Like her contemporaries, Pierce exhibited widely in museums and galleries, yet she has not received the same fame. This exhibition is an attempt by the Arts Program at UMUC to bring more attention to her art. This effort to bring attention to Pierce’s life and art has been three years in the making. Working with Pierce’s great-niece Wanda Spence and Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis, the Exhibition Committee of the UMUC Art Advisory Board approved an exhibition that highlights the artist, her career, her involvement with the art community as educator and curator, and her art. To learn more about Pierce’s path, the Arts Program asked researcher, writer, and attorney Jerry Langley to write the historical essay for the catalog. The Arts Program also asked Floyd Coleman, PhD, author, artist, and professor emeritus at Howard University, to write an essay that places Pierce’s art in historical context. Our thanks go to Langley and Coleman for agreeing to take on these tasks. To show a wide variety of works over Pierce’s lifetime, the Arts Program borrowed pieces from Howard University Gallery of Art and solicited works from private collectors Dianne WhitfieldLocke, Patricia Walters, Gail P. Smith, Jerome C. Gray, Louis Ford, Casey Stringer, Steve Farrow, and others. With the generosity of these lenders, the Arts Program can provide a wider lens through which the public can understand Pierce’s art. We thank all those who helped us on this journey. The Arts Program at UMUC is proud to provide this exhibition to its community as part of its mission to bring attention to some of the area’s most talented artists.

3


The Artistic Vision of Delilah Pierce

BY FLOYD COLEMAN, PhD

F

lowers, trees, water, earth, sky, and other natural items are subjects in the paintings and watercolors of Delilah W. Pierce. They do not, however, serve as ends in themselves but as tropes for exploring ideas, concepts, and various aesthetic subjectivities. Pierce uses her drawings and watercolor studies to develop and expand her language of forms, shapes, space, structure, color, composition, atmospheric effects, and mood. To understand Pierce’s art, one should keep in mind that her life covered all but twelve years of the 20th century. The many transformative historical, political, social, economic, and cultural developments of the century were interwoven in the American tapestry that was taught and authenticated in the public schools, colleges and universities, and religious and cultural institutions and organizations of American society and absorbed by Pierce. Delilah Williams Pierce was educated at Dunbar High School, Miner Normal School, and Howard University, Giant Nature’s Splendor, circa 1982, watercolor on paper, three of Washington, D.C.,’s most prestigious black 29½ x 22 inches, Collection of Dianne Whitfield-Locke and Carnell Locke institutions. Although the city was segregated, these institutions exposed Pierce to informed cosmopolitan perspectives on global cultural and intellectual traditions and to ideas about modern art and artistic practices, the latter augmented by a wide variety of museum exhibitions and programs available in the District of Columbia. In art history classes from the 1920s forward, Pierce and other art students across the country were introduced to world and modern art through publications such as Helen Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, John Ruskin’s Modern Painters, E. H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art, and Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s Cubism and Abstract Art. Pierce also received a steady diet of late 19thcentury and early 20th-century modern art concepts in classes taught by Loïs Mailou Jones, James L. Wells, James A. Porter, and others at Howard University. In addition, she was exposed to the literary works of early 20th-century writers and poets, such as James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Alain Locke, James Weldon Johnson, and Langston Hughes, who shaped African American modernist subjectivities. Visual artists such as Aaron Douglas, Hale Woodruff, Charles Alston, and others helped contextualize and shape the course of early 20th-century American modernist art and certainly Pierce’s art.

4


Like Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, and other artists with whom she was thoroughly familiar, Pierce frequently painted the same or similar scenes not to gain technical mastery but to acknowledge the complexities of forms; to explore different perspectives, views, and lighting effects; and to penetrate the essence of things—knowing that there is always more than what is seen. Her return to the same or similar subjects is acknowledgement that the serious artist is in constant dialogue with nature and the broad visual world and needs to carefully study and utilize memory, experience, and history to understand how to reveal the spiritual dimension of things and of existence itself.

EXPLORATIONS OF NATURE

In numerous works, Pierce explored the intricacies, complexities, grandeur, and beauty of nature. Works such as Giant Nature’s Splendor, Ceremonial Stones (Gay Head Cliffs) (p. 44), and Nature’s Symphony #1 (p. 73) attest to her respect for and love of nature and of her interest in its spiritual lessons. Giant Nature’s Splendor, one of Pierce’s largest watercolors (29½ inches in its greatest dimension), reveals the artist’s skill in handling the medium. Here she is able to capture a compelling feeling of freshness and energy. The trunks of the trees are defined with a dark color that gives structural qualities that are in sharp contrast to the light yellows and off-whites of the leaves of the trees. The structural and spatial qualities are reminiscent of techniques most often used by impressionist and 20th-century abstract expressionist artists. Techniques such as selecting fragments or small sections of scenes to create compositions give the work an intimacy and freshness that is also very much aligned with watercolor techniques and with the use of watercolor as a medium. Pierce’s long fascination with light as an aesthetic quality and as a metaphor for spirituality can be seen in a variety of her works, such as Nature’s Symphony #1; Vineyard Haven Harbor, Mass. (p. 35); Rocks by the Shore (Martha’s Vineyard) (p. 58); and Nebulae X (p. 57), a painting that features colors that are within a limited spectral and value range but succeeds because of its subtle illumination. By exploring many different scenes from nature, Pierce engaged in a dialogue with nature and the visual world—especially their natural, cultural, and spiritual dimensions. Pierce’s landscapes are a manifestation of her desire to celebrate nature and acknowledge the sublimity that kept her in awe of its grandeur. In Rocks by the Shore (Martha’s Vineyard), Pierce explores light differently. Here she focuses on the sea, the water, where it gently caresses the shore at a specific time of day. She captures the feel of a cloudy day, or the appearance of near dusk, in what is a familiar place for her. Pierce intimates here that the scene is the same as always, but the experience is different and distinct—that nature demands close scrutiny of its details and its secrets. Similarly, Fishing Boats at Martha’s Vineyard depicts empty boats left in a cove on an overcast day. Pieces such as this one bring to mind the work of African American artist

Fishing Boats at Martha’s Vineyard, 1951, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches, UMUC Permanent Collection, Doris Patz Collection of Maryland Artists

5


Hughie Lee-Smith, whom Pierce greatly admired and collected. Lee-Smith was influenced by the Italian metaphysical painting movement, which was founded in 1917 by Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà and gained prominence in the 1920s, fueled by the emergence of surrealism. The works of these artists often depicted incongruous, enigmatic still lifes; scenes of empty streets; or a lone human figure in a large square or open space. In Angel Wing Begonia, Pierce uses a restricted palette of colors within a relatively narrow value range to create a different effect by providing Angel Wing Begonia, not dated, watercolor on paper, 17½ x 23¼ inches, close-up, proximate views of flowers Collection of Ronald and Patricia Walters through a studied development of the petals and leaves of the flowers with subtle changes in color and by manifesting the orientation of the leaves in a variety of shapes. Works such as this are also reminiscent of the mood of works of Helen Frankenthaler, an abstract expressionist who created large abstract pieces based on landscapes, and particularly the works included in Frankenthaler’s breakthrough exhibition Mountains and Sea. Pierce frequently painted architectural structures in Washington, D.C.; New England; and many other parts of the world. Her houses often feature red or gray roofs and walls in off-white and warm gray colors. At times, the architectural forms are presented within lush landscape scenes on hillsides, their contrasting colors creating different spatial effects, evoking the School of Paris sensibilities of Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre Bonnard, among others.

THE HUMAN FIGURE

While the dominant subjects of Pierce’s paintings and watercolors are landscapes and still life scenes, she also painted portraits and images of the human figure. Two very fine examples are Twins (pp. 13, 27) and Sudanese Tradermen, No. II. Although the figurative paintings are quite well done, they do not rise to the level of visual poetry Pierce achieved in the landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes she produced during this same period. Like many African American artists in the 1950s, Pierce exhibited her work in the annual exhibitions hosted by Atlanta University, known as the Atlanta University Art Annuals, which were founded by renowned artist Hale Woodruff. The exhibitions became an important venue for numerous African American artists, such as Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Felrath Hines, Romare Bearden, and Hughie Lee-Smith. Acceptance of work for the exhibitions became a standard by which individuals were judged with respect to their standing as serious and accomplished artists. Hope (pp. 15, 26) was Pierce’s submission to the 1952 exhibition. Even at this point in her career, compositionally the work is characteristic

Sudanese Tradermen, No. II, 1964, acrylic on canvas,

18 x 14 inches, Collection of the Spence family

6


of Pierce—the head and shoulders of the female figure occupy most of the pictorial space, not unlike the way the artist depicts some landscape scenes in which one or two trees or objects occupy most of the visual field. Here the artist presents a close-up view of the figure, making it appear monumental. Musicians and musical instruments are subjects Pierce returns to over the years. In Sudanese Traderman, No. II, drums appear prominently in the foreground. In the painting Cellist, the artist shows musical instruments and semiabstract images of musicians in an analytical cubist style. This work is characterized by its transparency, achieved with what appears to be a glaze developed with yellow ocher and a hint of burnt umber, creating an overall feeling of unity, harmony, and completeness. The piece is an example of the artist painting with assurance and authority. From the 1950s onward, Pierce produced a variety of works Cellist, 1957, oil on board, 29½ x 25½ inches, in semiabstract and pure abstract or nonobjective styles. Collection of the Spence family In works like Gold Floating with White Edge (p. 38), Pierce demonstrates that she is an accomplished abstractionist. DC Waterfront, Maine Avenue is exemplary of Pierce’s most important work. It is clear that she knew what she wanted to accomplish with this painting, that is, to capture the essence of the scene in question in an abstract style. In this work, the artist reveals her interest in visceral, tactile, impasto surfaces; broken-color techniques; and the desired effects of light. Although painted in a higher key, it has some of the aesthetic qualities of Monet’s paintings, especially Water Lilies, works that inspired the development of a variety of 20th-century approaches to abstraction, particuDC Waterfront, Maine Avenue, 1957, oil on board, 17¾ x 23½ inches, larly abstract expressionism. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum Long Bridge – DC, VA features a restricted palette and is painted in high-key colors with an emphasis on warm off-whites, burnt umber, and ochers with dark accents and white highlights. Some of the same kinds of imagery and characteristic color usage can be seen in Vineyard Haven Harbor, Mass. (p. 35). Although it is apparent that Pierce is partial to heavy impasto painting techniques, this becomes pronounced in the semiabstract and abstract paintings she completed from the 1950s forward.

Long Bridge – DC, VA, 1959, oil on Masonite, 18¾ x 48 inches, Collection of the Spence family

7


SEARCHING AND EXPERIMENTING

Pierce’s experimentation was part of her overall concern for communicating ideas, expressing feelings, and exploring new aesthetic possibilities. She experimented with a variety of concepts and modalities, which were realized in compositional strategies in works such as Gay Head Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard. Her experiments included playing with characteristic color combinations, complex structural qualities, and mediations of impasto surfaces with superimposed lines that are not mindful of organic forms but of geometric constructs. In several works, Pierce uses what appears to be a porthole as a device to Gay Head Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard, not dated, oil on canvas, construct space and to create unique 30 x 40 inches, On loan from Howard University Gallery of Art compositional qualities. Verticals and Horizontals, Dockside shows Pierce’s overture to the minimalist reductionism of the mid-1960s and 1970s. She seems to be intrigued by the rhythm implicit in the repetition of the vertical poles and the absence of biomorphic forms in the verticals that dominate the pictorial space. The artist paints the water, which extends to the top section of the picture plane, in this same mode. In this piece, she provides markers for the viewer to conclude that it is an open window that allows the viewer to experience this scene on Martha’s Vineyard. Occasionally the artist provides a different perspective or vantage point of a scene; a distinct example is Peace (p. 42). Here the viewer is below, looking up at the principal image. In some of her later paintings, Pierce uses whites in combination with more intense light-blue and orange colors to create a characteristic chalky effect. Vineyard Friends (p. 58), created during the last decade of Pierce’s career, reflects her intellectual and philosophical interests and concepts, which seem to be more pronounced; there is less emphasis on verisimilitude and more focus on layering and abstracted forms. Vineyard Haven Harbor, Mass. (p. 35) shows the artist’s return to exploring the intimate seductiveness of light. There is also a feeling of absence evoked by the empty boats—some of them on their sides—that is truly thought provoking. As with many of her compositions, Pierce uses a select part of the scene to provide an entry point into the composition. In the landscapes, seascapes, and other scenes that explore surf and shore, she carefully and artfully constructs the space, reflecting a sense of plasticity and solidness.

Verticals and Horizontals, Dockside, not dated, acrylic on linen, 25 x 25 inches, Collection of the Spence family

In distinctive gestural abstract expressionist paintings such as Gay Head Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard, Pierce investigates scenes of water, sand and shore, rocks, land, and sky, captured with broad brush strokes loaded with paint and with colors that are expressive and also achieve spatial and structural unity and balance. In the tradition of Cézanne and Georgia O’Keeffe, Pierce is able to transform pedestrian still life subject matter 8


into visual poetry. Two fine examples are Lilies (Still Life) and Lobster Pots. Lilies (Still Life) shows a large vase of flowers prominently placed in the foreground, consuming most of the pictorial space. The artist uses white and offwhites and warm and cool grays to create a subtle but very vibrant work. Lobster Pots resembles Pierce’s scenes of Martha’s Vineyard that date to the late 1970s. They have a calmness about them that belies the artist’s intense focus and empathy with the subject. Accordingly, in this sense, restraint and reservation can be linked to the artist’s personality and to her philosophy of life, expressed through order and balance. In these and many other works, Pierce explores the intricate spatial markers that increase the mystery and complexity of works of art. Colors, shapes, and their orientation can induce certain feelings that may relate to the distinctly unique and personal. Pierce, like many African American artists, was not represented by a mainstream commercial gallery and consequently felt free to move back and forth between representation and abstraction and continue to search for the serious and meaningful. In other words, she did not feel compelled to create a masterpiece and subsequently single-mindedly try to recreate it over and over again with changes that can best be described as infinitesimal. Accordingly, Pierce, like many of her contemporaries, did not produce a strict brand, and her works are often overlooked and underappreciated.

Lilies (Still Life), not dated, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

This exhibition of selected works reveals that Pierce was an accomplished watercolorist, an engaging abstractionist, and an artist who was conversant with the aesthetic subjectivities of her time. It also reveals that Pierce was continuously searching for a more affecting spiritual dialogue that connects the art object and the viewer in light of how the artist uses form, space, color, texture, structure, proportion, balance, scale, and movement. Finally, Pierce—at all times a teacher and intellectual— was ever searching and experimenting to expand her awareness and understanding of art and artistic processes and of herself as an artist, a woman, and an American of African descent living, working, and facing the challenges of the 20th century.

Lobster Pots, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 28 x 22 inches, Collection of the Spence family

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I first met Delilah Pierce in the late 1960s but knew of her work as an artist beginning in the 1950s through the Atlanta University Art Annuals. In the 1970s, I got to know her very well when Samella Lewis and I served as chairs of the board of directors of the National Conference of Artists (NCA) and was most impressed with Pierce’s work as treasurer of the District of Columbia chapter of NCA. I would like to thank Pierce’s relatives Wanda Spence and Mediel Spence for providing me with an opportunity to view a good cross-section of her work.

Floyd Coleman, PhD, is an author, artist, and professor emeritus at Howard University.

9


Delilah W. Pierce:

PAINTING THE WORLD WITH JOY AND OPTIMISM BY JERRY LANGLEY

T

hree trailblazing African American women artists came from the 20th-century cultural milieu of Washington, D.C. Two—LoÏs Mailou Jones and Alma Thomas—are well known. The third, Delilah W. Pierce, is lesser known, although for much of her life Pierce, like Jones and Thomas, was an important figure on the Washington art scene.

In the Studio (Self Portrait), not dated, acrylic on linen, 24 x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

As a gifted artist and art educator, Pierce quietly but significantly contributed to the Washington, D.C., arts community. Best known for her portrait and landscape artwork, she helped expand thought about the scope of African American art. With the deft strokes of her brush, she revealed what was beautiful, simple, and innocent in the world around her rather than some of the harsh realities of being black in America at the time. As an untiring activist, she also engaged in many activities that expanded appreciation of the visual arts and supported local artists and arts programs in the community.

Delilah Louise Williams was born on March 3, 1904, to working class parents and grew up with two sisters in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Her father, George Williams, was a maintenance man, and her mother, Sarah, a homemaker. They instilled in her the value of dedication to family, education, and community. In 1936, she married Joseph L. Pierce, one of the first African Americans to graduate from what is now known as the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania. He was a broker and partner at the black-owned John R. Pinkett insurance company in Washington, D.C., and traveled extensively for his work. He died on August 29, 1990, at her favorite summer resort town of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Pierce, who became interested in art at an early age, attended Dunbar High School, the first public high school in the United States for black students. Rather than being discouraged by the climate of racial segregation, she was intent on refining her artistic skills and on becoming a good artist and art teacher. Following her graduation from this prestigious high school, she received a teacher certification (1923) and domestic art education diploma (1925) from Miner Normal School (accredited in 1929 as Miner Teachers College); a Bachelor of Science degree in fine art and education from Howard University in 1931; and a master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1939. In addition, she did postgraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and New York University. She also did studio work with other prominent artists, including James Wells and LoÏs Mailou Jones, whom she studied under at Howard University and who greatly influenced her as an artist.

10


In 1925, Pierce embarked on an art teaching career in the segregated Washington, D.C., public school system. Her first position as an art educator was at Shaw Junior High School in northwestern Washington, D.C. She later taught at Banneker Junior High School and Cardozo High School before retiring from the public school system in 1952. From 1952 to 1971, Pierce taught at the college level. She was a professor of art and art education at Miner Teachers College and its successor, D.C. Teachers College, where she also supervised student teachers in the art education program. She advised Delilah W. Pierce (second from left) teaching pattern and design at an art them to maintain their art practices (pro- workshop, D.C. Teachers College, Summer 1961 ducing and exhibiting) and ties to the art community to become effective art educators. Moreover, she sought to ensure that they were prepared to train the next generation of black artists and art teachers. Pierce also served as a visiting professor in the art education program at Howard University from 1968 to 1969. Artist and art educator Debra J. Ambush, PhD, noted during a recent interview that Pierce was known to be an “exemplary teacher.” Ambush emphasized that Pierce was at the forefront of those who encouraged local black artists to publish articles about their art and art experiences to expand public awareness and appreciation of African American artists and art. Reflecting on her experiences as an art educator, Pierce told a Washington Post reporter in early 1992 that she considered this to be her most significant contribution to the city. With respect to the racial environment in Washington, D.C., then, she stated in a manner consistent with her quiet but confident personality, “We had problems; there were things we didn’t like. But we fought—I don’t mean throwing bottles and sticks—I mean worked it out. We were taught to do it quietly, without fussing and fighting.”

Artists Jack Perlmutter (left) and Delilah W. Piece (right) at her solo exhibition, Margaret Dickey Gallery, 1953

Although Pierce produced works of art throughout her teaching career and continued to develop her artistic skills, she didn’t began to seriously exhibit her artwork until the early 1950s, when she submitted several oil paintings to the Atlanta University Art Annuals exhibit: Hope (pp. 15, 26), Blue Note, and Sea Souvenirs. From then until the late 1980s, her works were displayed in approximately 18 one-person shows and 150 group shows locally, nationally, and internationally alongside artwork of the most prominent African American artists of the time. Her paintings were exhibited in many Washington, D.C., area galleries and museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Howard University

11

Untitled (Vase with Flowers), circa 1934, watercolor on paper, 20 x 15 inches, Collection of the Spence family


Gallery of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Canal House Gallery, Smith-Mason Gallery of Art, and Georgetown Artists Mart. She also exhibited across the country at venues in California, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. This extensive exhibition activity makes it clear that Pierce was recognized as a distinguished artist. Her artwork was included among those of 83 other prominent American painters (including LoÏs Mailou Jones, Alma Thomas, David C. Driskell, and Jacob Lawrence) in a major 1961 exhibition at the Howard University Gallery of Art titled New Vistas in American Art. The goal of the exhibition was to showcase the artwork of those artists (both black and white) who were considered “pathbreakers for new traditions in Western Art.” In 1983, her status as an artist was highlighted again in the Evans-Tibbs Collection exhibition titled Richard Dempsey, Lois Jones, Delilah Pierce, James Porter, Alma Thomas, James Wells: Six Washington Masters. Harborside Mosaic, 1979, acrylic on canvas, 29¼ x 23½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

In 1986, Pierce’s artwork was shown in a major exhibition at Kenkeleba House, New York, titled Unbroken Circle: Exhibition of African-American Artists of the 1930s and 1940s, which included works by LoÏs Mailou Jones, Selma Burke, Charles White, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Hughie Lee-Smith, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence, and many other preeminent African American artists. In the foreword for the exhibition catalog, Corrine Jennings, the associate director of the gallery, gave an apt assessment of the artists and their work: These men and women were keepers of the light; their courage and endurance allowed them passage through difficult eras of history. As builders they have created a remarkable heritage. Most significant is the inspiration and encouragement they have offered younger artists. Their pride and above all the belief and integrity with which they worked offered subsequent generations a moral, intellectual and creative vision. Pierce’s Harborside Mosaic, a 1979 acrylic on canvas, was in the exhibition. On the bottom of the resume Pierce submitted with her application for the show, she noted the source of the inspiration for her paintings: My paintings are my visual expressions of what I see and how I feel about what I see. I am especially interested in commenting on the interesting and often unnoticed surroundings in our world. To accomplish this, I aim to create simple patterns of color, spaces and forms enriched by the colors and dark and light patterns of nature. The sea, sky and shore, the land, the rock and the atmosphere formations inspire me and greatly influence my work. Pierce began to establish her presence on the international scene when she was awarded an Agnes Meyer fellowship to travel and study in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in 1962. Some of the paintings from that experience bear names that reflect their foreign genesis. These works include Tradesmen – Africa (Khartoum, Sudan) (pp. 13, 31); Sudanese Tradermen, No. II (pp. 6, 43); and On the River Niger. It has been said that the people of Sudan inspired some of her finest figurative work. During the 1970s and 1980s, Pierce’s artwork was presented at U.S. embassy exhibits in Tanzania, Zaire, and Egypt; a United Nations conference on women in the arts in Nairobi, Kenya; and the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria.

12


Pierce did most of her creative work in Washington, D.C., and on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Her favorite location in Washington, D.C., was Rock Creek Park in the northwestern part of the city. She loved to be outside where she could see, hear, and feel nature at its fullest and be totally immersed in her work. During the summers, Pierce went to Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, where her close friends LoÏs Mailou Jones and Alma Thomas and a host of other artists and students from the Washington, D.C., area, alsosummered. summered.During Duringthese these area also vacations, she also gave her great-niece Wanda Spence art lessons and introduced her to the local art scene. Pierce became known for her fluid style, which ranged from figurative to abstract. She is said to have experimented with ideas rather than with different mediums. Once she chose a medium, she pursued variations in techniques within that medium as opposed to focusfocusing ing on works a range of mediums. During early on works in ain range of mediums. During her her early career, career, she exhibited mostly oil paintings, as Gay she exhibited mostly oil paintings, such assuch Gay Head Head Cliffs (Martha’s Vineyard) 61), Twins, Hope Cliffs (Martha’s Vineyard) (pp. 8,(pp. 61), 8, Twins, Hope (pp. (pp. 15, and 26), works and works like those her African travels 15, 26), like those fromfrom her African travels that that presented realistic, lifelike images with soft rich,colors soft presentedrealistic, lifelike images with rich, colors and verystrokes. fluid strokes. Her artwork gradually and very fluid Her artwork gradually became became more abstract, andtime by the she produced more abstract, and by the shetime produced her famous her famous Nebulae series (acrylics, she 1982–1984), she Nebulae series (acrylics, 1982–1984), had completed had completedtothe transition to abstraction. the transition abstraction. In the 1970s, Pierce began suffering allergic reactions to oil paints and decided to shift to acrylics. Art critic Judith F. Means notes in Art Voices/South (May/June 1980) that during the transition, Pierce used watercolors as she experimented with acrylic until she was able to achieve the same clear, subdued tones and fluid strokes she had produced with oil paints. Nature was still her favorite subject, and she continued to emphasize the lovely and turn away from the unpleasant. In describing Pierce’s artwork, Means stated, “The way she perceives the world with joy and optimism and the stunning clarity of her finely-developed aesthetic sense are integral not only to her character but also to the vivid textures of her work.” In addition to her work as an artist and educator, Pierce made many other contributions to the Washington, D.C., art scene, including serving as a member or officer of a number of organizations that provided support for African American art and artists. She was treasurer of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Conference of Artists from 1972 to 1981; treasurer of the Society of Washington Artists from 1966 to 1986; and holder of several offices in the Washington Water Color Association between 1974 and 1983. She was also a member of the District of Columbia Art Association and an honorary member of the Eta Phi Sigma sorority, which was founded by artist Corinne Mitchell in the early 1980s to foster the creativity of African American women artists and art teachers in the Washington, D.C., area.

13

Tradesmen – Africa (Khartoum, Sudan), not dated, oil on linen, 42 x 23 inches, Collection of the Spence family

Twins, 1952, oil on panel, 20 x 16 inches, Collection of the Spence family


Nature’s Symphony (triptych), 1980–81, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 108 inches, Collection of the Spence family

In 1978, Pierce cofounded the Canal House Gallery in Georgetown to help expand the exhibition venues for African American artists. She frequently visited exhibitions in the area to support and interact with local artists and art patrons and to help promote the arts. For a number of years, she was an influential member of the District of Columbia Public Library arts council, which advised the library board of trustees on the development of art programs for the various library branches. While on the library arts council, she was instrumental in commissioning artist Don Miller to paint the extraordinary mural depicting the various stages of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life that is displayed at the entrance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Pierce also helped produce African American art exhibitions at the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution through her work with the District of Columbia Art Association (DCAA). In 1989, at the age of 85, she co-curated a major exhibition at the Anacostia Museum called Inspiration 1961–1989 and co-authored the exhibition catalog. This exhibition showcased the “range of artistic expression achieved” by DCAA’s membership and included Pierce’s powerful painting Nature’s Symphony, which consists of three 48-by-36-inch panels (a triptych).

Award from Gallerie Triangle, May 1984

For her many contributions to the visual arts in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 60 years, Pierce was revered by her peers as well as the local community and received numerous awards and high praise. She received the Phi Delta Kappa Award for Outstanding Service and Achievement in Art and Art Education in 1963; an American Federation of Arts award in 1964; several Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Leadership Awards; a “Delilah W. Pierce Day” declaration by the mayor of the District of Columbia and the Washington Bar Association in 1980; a National Conference of Artists Service Award in 1981; the Washington, D.C., branch of the American Association of University Women’s Professional Achievement Award in 1984; and the Howard University Art Department Alumni Award in 1989. She was also honored by her peers in the Women’s Caucus for Art of Greater Washington in 1991 for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts. And on May 9, 1992, shortly before her death on May 27, she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of the District of Columbia. 14


Pierce also collected works by other artists, including Sargent Johnson, Charles White, Charles Sebree, Alma Thomas, LoÏs Mailou Jones, and Hughie Lee-Smith, and displayed them in her home for others to view. Today, Pierce’s relatives have approximately 150 works, primarily by Pierce, in their collection, as well as many of her papers. Wanda Spence, along with her son Stephen McDow and brother William A. D. Spence II, has spent the last 15 years assembling and organizing the artwork and materials with the assistance of Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, Maryland, to preserve Pierce’s legacy. Both Bedolla and McDow have established websites—galeriemyrtis.net/hidden-masters-delilah-pierce and delilahwpierce.com, respectively— that provide a wealth of information about Pierce’s life and career as an artist and educator. Wanda Spence has a number of Pierce’s paintings mounted on the walls of her home in northwestern D.C., where Pierce last resided. There are several that Spence says Pierce was very fond of, and her family is as well. One is Hope,* the inspirational oil painting she exhibited at the Atlanta University Art Annuals in 1952. The other two are Once Again Dock Side (p. 46), a 1979 acrylic painting, and Peter Pan (pp. 20–21), a 1939 watercolor painting that Pierce gave to Spence when she was a little girl to inspire her to become an artist. Pierce’s artwork is still in demand today and can be found in the collections of Howard University, the University of the District of Columbia, University of Maryland University College, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In addition, her paintings are in many private collections. Over the past few years, five of her paintings were sold at Swann Auction Galleries’ African-American Fine Art auctions, with prices ranging from $2,880 to $8,400. In addition, Galerie Myrtis, representing the Delilah Pierce estate, continues to sell her artwork, which will likely gain greater exposure in museums and other public forums in the future.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many contributed to the development of this article. Special thanks are extended to Delilah Pierce’s relatives (Wanda Spence, Stephen McDow, and Mediel Spence), Corrine Jennings of Kenkeleba House in New York, Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, and Edna King of the University of the District of Columbia Foundation for providing a wealth of information and access to many images; to Juliette Harris of the Hampton University International Review of African American Art for her editorial assistance; and to Dr. Debra Ambush (artist/educator), Gloria Freeman (artist/ educator), Jerome C. Gray (Washington, D.C., collector), James Hill (Washington, D.C., collector), and Evangeline J. Montgomery (artist/curator) for their interviews and very helpful information. Thanks are also extended to the Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center’s archives, the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ archives, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., for providing access to many relevant documents in their files.

Jerry Langley is an attorney, art collector, and contributing writer to the International Review of African American Art.

15

Hope, 1952, oil on panel, 25 x 19 inches, Collection of the Spence family

* This painting is also identified as Supplication (1960) in Robert Henkes’s 1993 publication, The Art of Black American Women: Works of TwentyFour Artists of the Twentieth Century. Other publications have also referred to a “Supplication” painting by Pierce without providing an image. However, a label on the back of this painting identifies it as Hope, an oil submitted by Delilah W. Pierce for a 1952 art contest held by the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. Further, a recently published book on the Atlanta University Art Annuals, In the Eye of the Muses by Tina Maria Dunkley and Jerry Cullum, notes that Atlanta University records state that an oil painting titled Hope was submitted by Pierce for its 1952 exhibition. It is possible that the artist later renamed this painting Supplication.


“Inspired by

nature

and the world around us,

colors, patterns, forms, shapes, and spaces, . . . my paintings have been

exploration of developing a visual an

language to communicate what I

see and feel.�

DELILAH W. PIERCE


Untitled (Vase with Flowers), 1926, watercolor on paper, 18 x 12½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

17


Untitled (Vase with Flowers), 1934, watercolor on paper, 20 x 15 inches, Collection of the Spence family

18


Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, 1940, watercolor on paper, 10 x 14 inches, Collection of the Spence family

19


20


Peter Pan, 1939, watercolor on paper, 21½ x 29½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

21


22


Untitled, 1951, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches, UMUC Permanent Collection, Doris Patz Collection of Maryland Artists, Gift of the Spence family

OPPOSITE PAGE, ABOVE:

Untitled (Fishing Boat), 1949, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches, Collection of the Spence family BELOW:

Untitled (Bottle, Net, and Seashells), 1950, acrylic on board, 21 x 27 inches, Collection of Casey Stringer

23


Fishing Boats at Martha’s Vineyard, 1951, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches, UMUC Permanent Collection, Doris Patz Collection of Maryland Artists

Untitled (Sailboats), 1951, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches, Collection of Debra Lacy, Courtesy of Galerie Myrtis

24


Untitled (Sailboats and a Lighthouse), 1951, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches, Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (House with Sailboat), 1954, watercolor on paper, 14 x 18 inches, Collection of the Spence family

25


Hope, 1952, oil on panel, 25 x 19 inches, Collection of the Spence family

26


Twins, 1952, oil on panel, 20 x 16 inches, Collection of the Spence family

27


Untitled (Man with Fiddle), 1952, oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches, Collection of the Spence family

28


Untitled (Red Coral and Seashells), 1953, acrylic on board, 24 x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

29


Where the Blue and White Nile Meet, 1953, acrylic on linen, 20 x 16 inches, Collection of Louis Ford

30


Tradesmen – Africa (Khartoum, Sudan), not dated, oil on linen, 42 x 23 inches, Collection of the Spence family

31


Untitled (Orange Roofs), 1955, acrylic on board, 17¾ x 23½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

32


Untitled (F Street), 1955, watercolor on paper, 20 x 15 inches, Collection of the Spence family

33


Untitled (Two Jars and Fruits), 1956, acrylic on board, 24½ x 17 inches, UMUC Permanent Collection, Maryland Artist Collection, Gift of the Spence family

34


The Cliffs, 1957, oil on board, 24 x 36½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

Vineyard Haven Harbor, Mass., not dated, acrylic on board, 23½ x 35½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

35


Untitled (Flower Pot), 1957, acrylic on board, 24 x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

36


Cellist, 1957, oil on board, 29½ x 25½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

37


Gold Floating with White Edge, 1958, acrylic on board, 17¼ x 23½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

38


Long Bridge – DC, VA, 1959, oil on Masonite, 18¾ x 48 inches, Collection of the Spence family

Abstraction, not dated, lithograph, edition 1 of 3, 12 x 9½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

39


Vineyard Sound, 1959, watercolor on paper, 13½ x 9½ inches, Collection of Casey Stringer

40


Fishing Nets, 1960, lithograph, edition 1 of 10, 16½ x 11½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

41


Peace, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, Collection of the Spence family

42


Sudanese Tradermen, No. II, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 14 inches, Collection of the Spence family

43


Ceremonial Stones (Gay Head Cliffs), not dated, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

44


Spectral Diadem, 1961, oil on canvas, 50 x 30 inches, On loan from Howard University Gallery of Art

45


Harborside Mosaic, 1979, acrylic on canvas, 29Ÿ x 23½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

Once Again Dock Side, 1979, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

46


Martha’s Vineyard – Montage, 1977, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

47


48


Nature’s Symphony (triptych), 1980–81, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 108 inches, Collection of the Spence family

49


Great Giants, 1974, watercolor on paper, 30 x 22 inches, Collection of Steve Farrow

50


Giant Nature’s Splendor, circa 1982, watercolor on paper, 29½ x 22 inches, Collection of Dianne Whitfield-Locke and Carnell Locke

51


Nebulae IX, 1982, acrylic on linen, 40½ x 29½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

52


Nebulae #6, 1982, acrylic on linen, 40 x 30 inches, Collection of the Spence family

53


Nebulae XI, 1984, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 28他 inches, Collection of the Spence family

54


Galaxy II, 1983, graphite on paper, 15 x 10他 inches, Collection of the Spence family

55


Nebulae #7, 1982, acrylic on canvas, 40½ x 29½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

56


Nebulae X, 1983, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 24他 inches, Collection of the Spence family

57


Vineyard Friends, 1987, watercolor on paper, 13 x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

Rocks by the Shore (Martha’s Vineyard), 1988, watercolor on paper, 13 x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

58


Studio Patterns (Still Life), not dated, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 11½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

59


Harborside Piles, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 16 inches, Collection of Jerome C. Gray

60


RIGHT:

Drying Sails, not dated, acrylic on linen, 42½ x 36 inches, Collection of the Spence family BELOW:

Gay Head Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard, not dated, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, On loan from Howard University Gallery of Art

61


Foraging Friends, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 29 inches, Collection of the Spence family

62


Eventide Debate (Seaside Debate), not dated, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, Collection of Jerome C. Gray

Gulls, not dated, lithograph, edition 2 of 10, 20 x 5½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

63


64


Illumination Martha’s Vineyard, not dated, acrylic on linen, 25 x 48 inches, Collection of the Spence family

65


In the Studio (Self Portrait), not dated, acrylic on linen, 24 x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

66


In Bloom, not dated, acrylic and watercolor on paper, 19 3⁄8 x 14¼ inches, Collection of Louis Ford

67


Lobster Pots, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 28 x 22 inches, Collection of the Spence family

68


ABOVE:

Keeper of the Shore, not dated, acrylic on linen, 48 x 48 inches, Collection of the Spence family RIGHT:

Verticals and Horizontals, Dockside, not dated, acrylic on linen, 25 x 25 inches, Collection of the Spence family

69


Jazz Vibrations, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 24½ x 20 inches, Collection of the Spence family

70


Lantern Patterns, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 40ž x 48½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

71


Nature’s Splendor (Tropical Friends), not dated, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

72


Nature’s Symphony #1, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 23½ x 17½ inches, Collection of Gail P. Smith

73


October Rock Creek Park, 1982, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

74


October Rock Creek Park, not dated, acrylic on board, 36 x 23他 inches, Collection of the Spence family

75


On the Tow Path II, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 39½ inches, Collection of the Spence family

76


Menemsha Ponds, not dated, oil on linen, 34½ x 40½ inches, Collection of the Spence Family

77


Lilies (Still Life), not dated, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, Collection of the Spence family

78


Angel Wing Begonia, not dated, watercolor on paper, 17½ x 23¼ inches, Collection of Ronald and Patricia Walters

Still Life by the Window, not dated, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 23¼ inches, Collection of the Spence family

79


Tree (Nature’s Vertical), not dated, acrylic on linen, 40½ x 48 inches, Collection of the Spence family

80


Untitled (Abstraction), not dated, watercolor on paper, 14½ x 21 inches, Collection of the Spence family

81


Artist’s Biography

Delilah W. Pierce

Born 1904, Washington, D.C. Died 1992, Washington, D.C.

Education 1923 1925 1931 1939

Teacher Certification, Miner Normal School, Washington, D.C. Domestic Art Education Diploma, Miner Normal School, Washington, D.C. BS, Howard University, Washington, D.C. MA, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York

Selected Professional Affiliations

Artists’ Equity Association, Washington, D.C. Artists Mart, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Committee on Art Education, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York Delilah W. Pierce at home with her artwork Cultural and Beautification Committee, D.C. Federation of Long Bridge – DC, VA in the background Civic Associations, Washington, D.C. D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, D.C. District of Columbia Art Association, Washington, D.C. Library Arts Council, District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, D.C. Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, Old Sculpin Gallery, Edgartown, Massachusetts National Art Education Association, Reston, Virginia Society of Washington Artists, Washington, D.C. Washington Water Color Association, Washington, D.C. Women’s Caucus for Art of Greater Washington, Washington, D.C.

Selected Awards 1962 1963 1964 1971 1992

Agnes Meyer Fellowship to Travel and Study in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Meyer Foundation, Washington, D.C. National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Award for Outstanding Service and Achievement in Art and Art Education Purchase Award, American Federation of Arts, New York, New York Service Award, Smith-Mason Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

Selected Solo Exhibitions 1957 1969 1979 1979 1983 1987

Margaret Dickey Gallery, District of Columbia Teachers College, Washington, D.C. Margaret Dickey Gallery, District of Columbia Teachers College, Washington, D.C. Canal House Gallery, Washington, D.C. Old Sculpin Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, Edgartown, Massachusetts A Retrospective of 44 Years, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.

Selected Group Exhibitions 1959 1961

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 82


1966 Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth, Delaware 1970 National Exhibition of Black Artists, Smith-Mason Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey 1970 Negro College Fund Alain Locke Show, New York, New York 1972 Reflections: Afro-American Festival of Arts and Culture, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1973 Exhibition ’73, District of Columbia Art Association, Washington, D.C. 1977 Barnett-Aden Collection of Black Art, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1977 Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, Lagos, Nigeria 1978 Loïs Mailou Jones: A Tribute for the First African American Painter of Note, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, D.C. 1981–82 Forever Free: Art by African American Women, 1882–1980, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois

Selected Collections

Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Hampton Museum of Art, Hampton, Virginia Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

Selected Publications

Andrews, Benny. “On Understanding Black Art.” New York Times, June 21, 1970. Atkinson, Edward. Black Dimensions in Contemporary American Art. New York: New American Library, 1971. The Barnett-Aden Collection. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974. Exhibition catalog. Bearden, Romare, and Harry Henderson. A History of African-American Artists from 1762 to the Present. New York: Pantheon, 1993. Bracks, Lean’tin, and Jessie Carney Smith, eds. Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Dover, Cedric. American Negro Art. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1960. Frye, Daniel J. African-American Visual Artists: An Annotated Bibliography of Educational Resource Materials. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001. Henkes, Robert. The Art of Black American Women: Works of Twenty-Four Artists of the Twentieth Century. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1993. Hughes, Langston. “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.” The Nation, June 23, 1969. Igoe, Lynn Moody, and James Igoe. Two Hundred Fifty Years of Afro-American Art: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1981. McElroy, Guy C., Richard Powell, and Sharon Patton. African-American Artists 1880–1987: Selections from the Evans-Tibbs Collection. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services, in association with University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1989. Means, Judith. “Delilah W. Pierce.” Art Voices/South, May/June 1980. Patton, Sharon F. African-American Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Riggs, Thomas, ed. St. James Guide to Black Artists. Detroit: St. James Press, in association with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 1997. Shuttlesworth, Carolyn E., ed. A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Gallery of Art, 2005. Taha, Halima. Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas. New York: Crown Publishers, 1998. Tierney, Helen, ed. Women’s Studies Encyclopedia: Revised and Expanded Edition. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. Washington Post and Times Herald. “Delilah Pierce.” March 14, 1965.

83


Exhibition List

Untitled (Vase with Flowers) 1926, watercolor on paper 18 x 12½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Hope 1952, oil on panel 25 x 19 inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (Vase with Flowers) 1934, watercolor on paper 20 x 15 inches Collection of the Spence family

Twins 1952, oil on panel 20 x 16 inches Collection of the Spence family

Peter Pan 1939, watercolor on paper 21½ x 29½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (Man with Fiddle) 1952, oil on panel 24 x 18 inches Collection of the Spence family

Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts 1940, watercolor on paper 10 x 14 inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (Red Coral and Seashells) 1953, acrylic on board 24 x 20 inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (Fishing Boat) 1949, watercolor on paper 12 x 16 inches Collection of the Spence family

Where the Blue and White Nile Meet 1953, acrylic on linen 20 x 16 inches Collection of Louis Ford

Untitled (Bottle, Net, and Seashells) 1950, acrylic on board 21 x 27 inches Collection of Casey Stringer

Untitled (House with Sailboat) 1954, watercolor on paper 14 x 18 inches Collection of the Spence family

Fishing Boats at Martha’s Vineyard 1951, watercolor on paper 12 x 16 inches UMUC Permanent Collection Doris Patz Collection of Maryland Artists

Untitled (F Street) 1955, watercolor on paper 20 x 15 inches Collection of the Spence family Untitled (Orange Roofs) 1955, acrylic on board 17¾ x 23½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled 1951, watercolor on paper 12 x 16 inches UMUC Permanent Collection Doris Patz Collection of Maryland Artists Gift of the Spence family

Untitled (Two Jars and Fruits) 1956, acrylic on board 24½ x 17 inches UMUC Permanent Collection Maryland Artist Collection Gift of the Spence family

Untitled (Sailboats) 1951, watercolor on paper 12 x 16 inches Collection of Debra Lacy Courtesy of Galerie Myrtis

Cellist 1957, oil on board 29½ x 25½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (Sailboats and a Lighthouse) 1951, watercolor on paper 12 x 16 inches Collection of the Spence family

The Cliffs 1957, oil on board 24 x 36½ inches Collection of the Spence family

84


Untitled (Flower Pot) 1957, acrylic on board 24 x 20 inches Collection of the Spence family

Giant Nature’s Splendor circa 1982, watercolor on paper 29½ x 22 inches Collection of Dianne Whitfield-Locke and Carnell Locke

Gold Floating with White Edge 1958, acrylic on board 17¼ x 23½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Nebulae #6 1982, acrylic on linen 40 x 30 inches Collection of the Spence family

Long Bridge – DC, VA 1959, oil on Masonite 18¾ x 48 inches Collection of the Spence family

Nebulae #7 1982, acrylic on canvas 40½ x 29½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Vineyard Sound 1959, watercolor on paper 13½ x 9½ inches Collection of Casey Stringer

Nebulae IX 1982, acrylic on linen 40½ x 29½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Fishing Nets 1960, lithograph edition 1 of 10 16½ x 11½ inches Collection of the Spence family

October Rock Creek Park 1982, acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 inches Collection of the Spence family

Spectral Diadem 1961, oil on canvas 50 x 30 inches On loan from Howard University Gallery of Art

Galaxy II 1983, graphite on paper 15 x 10¾ inches Collection of the Spence family

Peace 1964, acrylic on canvas 20 x 16 inches Collection of the Spence family

Nebulae X 1983, acrylic on canvas 39 x 24¾ inches Collection of the Spence family

Sudanese Tradermen, No. II 1964, acrylic on canvas 18 x 14 inches Collection of the Spence family

Nebulae XI 1984, acrylic on canvas 39 x 28¾ inches Collection of the Spence family

Great Giants 1974, watercolor on paper 30 x 22 inches Collection of Steve Farrow

Vineyard Friends 1987, watercolor on paper 13 x 20 inches Collection of the Spence family

Martha’s Vineyard – Montage 1977, acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 inches Collection of the Spence family

Rocks by the Shore (Martha’s Vineyard) 1988, watercolor on paper 13 x 20 inches Collection of the Spence family

Harborside Mosaic 1979, acrylic on canvas 29¼ x 23½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Abstraction not dated, lithograph edition 1 of 3 12 x 9½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Once Again Dock Side 1979, acrylic on canvas 30 x 24 inches Collection of the Spence family

Angel Wing Begonia not dated, watercolor on paper 17½ x 23¼ inches Collection of Ronald and Patricia Walters

Nature’s Symphony (triptych) 1980–81, acrylic on canvas 48 x 108 inches Collection of the Spence family

Ceremonial Stones (Gay Head Cliffs) not dated, acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 inches Collection of the Spence family

85


Drying Sails not dated, acrylic on linen 42½ x 36 inches Collection of the Spence family

Lobster Pots not dated, acrylic on canvas 28 x 22 inches Collection of the Spence family

Eventide Debate (Seaside Debate) not dated, acrylic on canvas 24 x 20 inches Collection of Jerome C. Gray

Menemsha Ponds not dated, oil on linen 34½ x 40½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Foraging Friends not dated, acrylic on canvas 39 x 29 inches Collection of the Spence family

Nature’s Splendor (Tropical Friends) not dated, acrylic on canvas 36 x 24 inches Collection of the Spence family

Gay Head Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard not dated, oil on canvas 30 x 40 inches On loan from Howard University Gallery of Art

Nature’s Symphony #1 not dated, acrylic on canvas 23½ x 17½ inches Collection of Gail P. Smith October Rock Creek Park not dated, acrylic on board 36 x 23¾ inches Collection of the Spence family

Gulls not dated, lithograph edition 2 of 10 20 x 5½ inches Collection of the Spence family

On the Tow Path II not dated, acrylic on canvas 50 x 39½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Harborside Piles not dated, acrylic on canvas 48 x 16 inches Collection of Jerome C. Gray

Still Life by the Window not dated, acrylic on canvas 18 x 23¼ inches Collection of the Spence family

Illumination Martha’s Vineyard not dated, acrylic on linen 25 x 48 inches Collection of the Spence family

Studio Patterns (Still Life) not dated, acrylic on canvas 16 x 11½ inches Collection of the Spence family

In Bloom not dated, acrylic and watercolor on paper 19 3⁄8 x 14¼ inches Collection of Louis Ford

Tradesmen – Africa (Khartoum, Sudan) not dated, oil on linen 42 x 23 inches Collection of the Spence family

In the Studio (Self Portrait) not dated, acrylic on linen 24 x 20 inches Collection of the Spence family

Tree (Nature’s Vertical) not dated, acrylic on linen 40½ x 48 inches Collection of the Spence family

Jazz Vibrations not dated, acrylic on canvas 24½ x 20 inches Collection of the Spence family

Untitled (Abstraction) not dated, watercolor on paper 14½ x 21 inches Collection of the Spence family

Keeper of the Shore not dated, acrylic on linen 48 x 48 inches Collection of the Spence family

Verticals and Horizontals, Dockside not dated, acrylic on linen 25 x 25 inches Collection of the Spence family

Lantern Patterns not dated, acrylic on canvas 40¾ x 48½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Vineyard Haven Harbor, Mass. not dated, acrylic on board 23½ x 35½ inches Collection of the Spence family

Lilies (Still Life) not dated, acrylic on canvas 30 x 24 inches Collection of the Spence family

86


About UMUC

Artworks are on display throughout the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center at UMUC and the Administration Building in Adelphi as well as at the UMUC Academic Center at Largo. The main, lower-level gallery in Adelphi is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, and the Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. More than 75,000 students, scholars, and visitors come to the Adelphi facilities each year. Exhibitions at the UMUC Academic Center at Largo are open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Serving Busy Professionals Worldwide University of Maryland University College (UMUC) specializes in high-quality academic programs that are convenient for busy professionals. Our programs are specifically tailored to fit into the demanding lives of those who wish to pursue a respected degree that can advance them personally and grow their careers. UMUC has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence as a comprehensive virtual university and, through a combination of classroom and distance-learning formats, provides educational opportunities to more than 80,000 students. The university is proud to offer highly acclaimed faculty and world-class student services to educate students online, throughout Maryland, across the United States, and in 20 countries and territories around the world. UMUC serves its students through undergraduate and graduate programs, noncredit leadership development, and customized programs. For more information regarding UMUC and its programs, visit www.umuc.edu.

UMUC Arts Program Mission Statement

The Arts Program at UMUC creates an environment in which its diverse constituents, including members of the university community and the general public, can study and learn about art by directly experiencing it. The Arts Program seeks to promote the university’s core values and to provide educational opportunities for lifelong learning. From the research and study of works of art to the teaching applications of each of our exhibitions, the Arts Program will play an increasing role in academic life at the university. With a regional and national focus, the Arts Program is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, study, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art of the highest quality in a variety of media that represent its constituents and to continuing its historic dedication to Maryland and Asian art.

About the Arts Program at UMUC

Since 1978, UMUC has proudly shown works from a large collection of international and Maryland artists at its headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland, a few miles from the nation’s capital. Through its Arts Program, the university provides a prestigious and wide-ranging forum for emerging and established artists and brings art to the community through special exhibitions and its own collections, which have grown to include more than 2,800 pieces of art.

Contributors

UMUC’s collections focus on both art by Maryland artists and art from around the world. They include the Maryland Artist Collection, the Doris Patz Collection of Maryland Artists, the Asian Collections, the Education Collection, and the International Collection. The university’s collection of Maryland art includes approximately 2,000 works and provides a comprehensive survey of 20th- and 21st-century Maryland art. The university’s Asian Collections consist of nearly 420 pieces of Chinese art, Japanese prints, and Balinese folk art, dating from the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) through the 19th century—a historical reach of 13 centuries. The UMUC collection of Japanese prints includes more than 120 prints by 35 artists.

Director, Arts Program: Eric Key Curator: Brian Young Editors: Sandy Bernstein, Beth Butler, Barbara Reed Director, Institutional Projects: Cynthia Friedman Designer: Jennifer Norris Project Manager: Laurie Bushkoff Production Manager: Scott Eury Fine Arts Technician: René A. Sanjines Artwork photography: John Woo

87


UMUC Art Advisory Board Javier Miyares President University of Maryland University College Anne V. Maher, Esq., Chair Attorney at Law Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP

Pamela Holt Consultant Public Affairs and Cultural Policy Administration Michèle E. Jacobs, Past Chair Managing Director Special Events at Union Station

Eva J. Allen, Honorary Member Art Historian

Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College

Alvah T. Beander Entrepreneur/Appraiser Melanin Art Appraisals, LLC

Thomas Li, Honorary Member Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ret. Biotech Research Labs, Inc.

Myrtis Bedolla, Vice Chair Owner and Founding Director Galerie Myrtis

David Maril, Honorary Member Journalist President, Herman Maril Foundation

Joan Bevelaqua Artist, Art Faculty University of Maryland University College

Barbara Stephanic, PhD, Honorary Member Professor of Art History, Ret. College of Southern Maryland

I-Ling Chow, Honorary Member Regional President and Managing Director, Ret. Asia Bank, N.A.

Dianne A. Whitfield-Locke, DDS Collector and Patron of the Arts Owner, Dianne Whitfield-Locke Dentistry

Patricia Dubroof Artist/Consultant IONA Senior Services

Sharon Wolpoff Artist and Owner Wolpoff Studios

Nina C. Dwyer Artist, Adjunct Professor of Art Montgomery College

UMUC Board of Visitors Mark J. Gerencser, Chair Chairman of the Board CyberSpa, LLC

Jeannette Glover Artist, Program Manager Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Evelyn J. Bata, PhD Collegiate Professor University of Maryland University College

Karin Goldstein, Honorary Member Collector and Patron of the Arts Juanita Boyd Hardy, Honorary Member Executive Director CulturalDC Sharon Holston, Honorary Member Artist's Representative and Co-Owner Holston Originals

Richard F. Blewitt, Member Emeritus Managing Partner, R&B Associates and President, The Blewitt Foundation

David W. Bower Sr. Chief Executive Officer Data Computer Corporation of America Karl R. Gumtow Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer CyberPoint International, LLC Anne V. Maher, Esq. Attorney at Law Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr., U.S. Army, Ret. Vice President of Operations, Ret. Department of Defense/ Intelligence Services Lockheed Martin Information Technology Charles E. (Ted) Peck Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ret. The Ryland Group, Inc. Sharon R. Pinder President and Chief Executive Officer Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council Brig. Gen. Velma L. Richardson, U.S. Army, Ret. President VLR Consulting Gen. John (Jack) Vessey Jr., U.S. Army, Ret., Member Emeritus Former Chairman U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff William T. (Bill) Wood, JD Founder Wood Law Offices, LLC Joyce M. Wright Senior Consultant Fitzgerald Consulting

Joseph V. Bowen Jr. Senior Vice President, Operations, and Managing Principal, Ret. McKissack & McKissack

Š 2015 University of Maryland University College. All rights reserved. Copyright credits and attribution for certain illustrations are cited internally proximate to the illustrations. ISBN 13:978-0-9842265-0-4 ISBN-10: 0-98442265-0-8

88

15-ARTS-017 (9/15)


GAY HEAD CLIFFS, MARTHA’S VINEYARD

NOT DATED, OIL ON CANVAS, 30 X 40 INCHES ON LOAN FROM HOWARD UNIVERSITY GALLERY OF ART

UMUC Delilah W. Pierce Exhibition, 2015  

Learn about the exhibition "Delilah W. Pierce: Natural Perspective" at University of Maryland University College.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you