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"Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art"
2001-04-06 until 2001-04-07
Howard University, Department of Art
Washington, DC, USA United States of America

Howard University, Department of Art, and the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture in Washington, DC present the Twelfth Annual James A. Porter Colloquium entitled Migrations and the Diaspora: Caribbean and African American Connections on April 6 and 7, 2001. James Amos Porter was an African American educator, lecturer, painter, administrator, critic and advisor. He graduated from Howard University with honors in 1927 with a Bachelors degree in Art. In 1929, he studied at the Art Institute and was awarded the Arthur Schomburg Portrait Prize for his painting Woman Holding A Jug in 1933 exhibited in the Harmon Foundation Exhibition of Negro Artists. He received the Certificat De Presence from the Institute of Art and Archeology, University of Paris in August 1935. In 1937, he received the Masters of Art in Art History from New York University, Fine Arts Graduate Center. In 1953, he was appointed Head of the Department of Art and Director of the Art Gallery at Howard University. In March 1965 he was named one of Americas most outstanding men of the arts along with 26 other teachers in the U.S. to receive the first National Gallery of Art Medal and Honorarium for Distinguished Achievement in Art Education.

To Register or Receive More Information, Please Contact:
Robert Hall, Mark Williams or Jennifer Morris
900 Jefferson Drive, SW, Room 1130, MRC 31
Washington, D.C.
202/357-4500 (phone) or 202/357-2636 (fax)

James A. Porters classic book, Modern Negro Art (1943, Howard University Press 1992) proved to be one of the most informative sources to date on the productivity of the Negro artist in the United States since the 18th century. It is a standard reference work on Black Art in America. It is said that Porters book placed African American artists in the context of modern art history, which was both novel and profound. For some, Modern Negro Art was considered presumptuous and certainly premature. But Porters bold and perceptive scholarship helped those who subsequently focused their attention on African American expression in the visual arts to see the wealth of work that had been produced in the United States for over two centuries. It is considered by many as the fundamental book for those who delve into black art history. Lowery S. Sims of the Metropolitan Museum of Art states, it is still an indispensable reference work fifty years after its initial publication, and Richard L. Powell states it continues to provide todays scholars with early source information, core bibliographic material, and other essential research tools for African American art history. His writing career spans from the late 1920s, and includes manuscript and monograph publications, book reviews, introductions and forewords to exhibition catalogues, lectures, conference, symposia and seminar papers, periodicals and newspaper articles. Your readers may be interested to note that Porter published an article entitled Robert S. Duncanson; Midwestern Romantic-Realist Art in America 39(3):99-154, October, 1951 and A Further Note on Robert S. Duncanson Art in America 42(3):220,221,235, October, 1954.

Unique in the sense that he was totally involved in the creative expression which characterizes the Black life-style in African, Latin American and African-American art as an historian and was an accomplished practicing artist as well. His creative works form a solid foundation upon which others may confidently build in the future.

Romare Bearden wrote Jimmys pioneering efforts are not really widely enough known...it was he that first helped make the art programs in colleges, especially our colleges (African American), less than a step child of the other disciplines, it was Jimmy who did the real pioneering research in the history of Afro-American art.


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