Howard University Art Gallery Images

The West Coast Chapter of the Society for the

History of Collecting  invites you to the first lecture

in its online series University Museums

The Howard University Art Gallery: Collecting the New Deal

Prof. Betsy Fahlman

Friday, 1 October 2021

12pm PDT, 3pm EDT, 8pm BST, 9pm CEST


In 1943, Fort Huachuca, an army base in remote southeastern Arizona, was the unlikely site of a large “Exhibition of Negro Artists” which displayed eighty-six works by thirty-seven artists, all work created under the sponsorship of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. This exhibit was part of a morale-building effort by a post commander, aided by Arizona artist, Lew Davis, who had created a mural titled The Negro in America’s Wars for the Black officer’s CLUB. THE AMBITIOUS exhibition was planned to be a permanent feature. But the base was deactivated in 1947 and the art dispersed, with the best 37 paintings and one sculpture going to Howard University, works perfectly aligned with Howard’s educational mission.

Betsy Fahlman is Professor of Art History at Arizona State University and Adjunct Curator of American Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. She wrote Landscapes of Extraction: The Art of Mining in the American West (forthcoming, 2021), Kraushaar Galleries: Celebrating 125 Years (2010), New Deal Art in Arizona (2009), Chimneys and Towers: Charles Demuth’s Late Paintings of Lancaster (2007), James Graham & Sons: A Century and a Half in the Art Business (2007), Guy Pène du Bois: Painter of Modern Life (2004), The Cowboy’s Dream: The Mythic Life and Art of Lon Megargee (2002), and John Ferguson Weir: The Labor ort (1997). She has published extensively on the relationship between American art and industry and on artists Ellen Emmet Rand, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Marguerite Zorach, Robert Winthrop Chanler, and Joseph Pennell.

Members will receive a flyer with the link to the talk at least two days before the event.

Nonmembers should register by emailing:

Image Credit: (Left image) Archibald Motley, Saturday Night, 1935, o/c, 32 x 40”, Howard University Gallery of Art.  (Right image) Cover, Exhibition of 37 Negro Artists, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

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