âAfro-American Images 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricksâ honors the 50th anniversary of a groundbreaking exhibition of black art. Presented by the Delaware Art Museum and Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc., the show will be accompanied by rich programming celebrating African American culture. The show is accompanied by a solid lineup, including performances, lectures and a family day out.
âThe Delaware Art Museum‘s resurrection of this historic exhibit of African American art brings much needed attention to lesser-known artists who, despite their professional success, have gone largely unrecognized,â said Lisa Farrington, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and Director of the Gallery of Art. “We are proud to have had Howard’s own professor of art history, Melanee Harvey, Ph.D., contribute an essay to the exhibition catalog, and student Howard, Ellington (Ellie) Lindsey (HU ’22), to conduct curatorial research at the Delaware Art Museum as part of this special collaboration.
The exhibit celebrates the legacy of Percy Ricks, artist, educator and alumnus of Howard of Wilmington. Ricks founded the Wilmington-based artist collective Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc. and set up “Afro-American Images 1971” to highlight the influence of African-American artists in Wilmington.
“By organizing ‘Afro-American Images 1971,’ Percy Ricks created an iconic exhibit that showcased a rich network of artists,” said Marguerite Winslow, curator of contemporary art at the Delaware Art Museum. âHoward University, Ricks’ Alma Mater, was an important cultural link at the heart of this network. We are deeply grateful to the University for its significant art loans and for the work of Howard’s faculty, staff and students, especially Dr Lisa E. Farrington, Scott W. Baker, Dr Abby R. Eron , Dr Melanee C. Harvey and Ellington Lindsey, on the staging of this historic exhibit.
Visitors will see a re-creation of the historical exhibition âAfrican-American Images 1971â. The exhibit will include most of the artists who participated in the 1971 exhibit, many of whom are known locally – Humbert Howard, Simmie Knox, Edward Loper Sr. and Edward Loper Jr. – as well as nationally recognized ones including Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Lois Mailou Jones, Faith Ringgold, Alma Thomas and Hale Woodruff. By rearranging the exhibit as precisely as possible, the partner organizations hope to examine the exhibit’s role in the black arts movement and question why this seemingly successful event has been largely overlooked by historians in the decades since.
Contributions from the Howard University Art Gallery to “African American Pictures 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks”
Photo 1: Harlan Jackson, “Camp # 1”, 1967, mixed media on canvas, courtesy of the Howard University Gallery of Art
Photo 2: Raymond Saunders, “Mother and Child,” 1961, acrylic on canvas, purchased through the museum’s donor program
Photo 3: Charles McGee, âDespondency,â Nd, Masonite-type oil on panel, courtesy of Howard University Gallery of Art
Photo 4: Peter L. Robinson, Jr., “Amorphous Cloud”, 1970, oil on canvas, artist bequest
Photo 5: Edward L. Loper, âAngry City,â 1961, oil on panel, courtesy of the Howard University Gallery of Art
Photo 6: Delilah Pierce, âGayhead Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard,â Nd, oil on canvas, courtesy of Howard University Gallery of Art
Photo 7: James L. Wells, “Salome”, 1963, oil on canvas, purchased as a gift from President Swygert
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that includes 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 degree programs leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service and has produced one Schwarzman Fellow, three Marshall Fellows, four Rhodes Fellows, 12 Truman Fellows, 25 Pickering Fellows and over 165 Fulbright Fellows. Howard also produces more African American doctorates on campus. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information about Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
On Delaware Museum of Art
For over 100 years, the museum served as the primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is full of experiences, discoveries and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally established in 1912 to honor famous illustrator and Wilmington native Howard Pyle, the museum’s collection has over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the museum houses the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside the UK and a growing collection of significant contemporary art. Visit delart.org at for the latest exhibitions, programs and performances, or connect with us through social media.
Media contact: Aaliyah Butler; [email protected]