University ranks among a select group of institutions that can boast of such a distinguished roster of graduates who have made an impact on American art. Since its founding in 1921-22, the Department of Art has established a legacy of excellence and leadership in the history of American art. A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University, works by 122 artists, allows us to visit with various genres, from the early years to the most recent. It is a remarkable journey through the vibrant portraits, abstractions, photographs, mixed media, three-dimensional and figurative compositions.
I have fond memories of my initial meeting with Professor James V. Herring while I was an undergraduate student at Talladega College. Professor Herring founded and served as the first chairman of the Department of Art as well as the founder and director of the Gallery of Art. His service to the University began in the Department of Architecture where he taught courses related to the fine arts. Later, with approval of the Board of Trustees, a structural curriculum that included drawing, watercolor and oil painting, life class and perspective, among other fundamental courses, began to shape the department as we know it today. It was on this foundation that the department grew and over the next several decades, expanded its offerings to become the world class department with national and global recognition.
I am confident that Professor Herring would be proud of this exhibition and its alumni. Many artists representated in the exhibition matriculated during his tenure. Therefore, it is a distinct pleasure to wlecome the University and metropolitan communities to this exhibition. I know that you will be inspired to explore the rich history of the department, and the contributions of its alumni to American art.
A. English, Ph.D.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer