Delilah W. Pierce

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Delilah W. Pierce & The First African American Privately Owned Gallery In US

The Barnett Aden Gallery, founded in 1943 by James Vernon Herring (1897-1969) and Alonzo Aden (1906-1961), was the first privately owned African American gallery in the United States. It was located in Washington, DC.

Delilah W. Pierce held exhibitions their in 1958, 1959, and 1960 and was actively involved with The Barnett Aden Gallery.

In 1985 Keith Morrison, artist, educator, curator, art critic, and administrator authored: Art in Washington and its Afro-American Presence: 1940-1970. The book was published by the Washington Project for the Arts in 1985. His book, in part, helped to canonize The Barnett Aden Gallery and their important impact on African American artists in the mid to late 20 century. His book is in university libraries throughout the United States and the world.

According to Dr. Janet Gail Abbott and the research compiled in her December 2008 dissertation The Barnett Aden Gallery A Home For Diversity In A Segregated City:

The Barnett Aden…remained the most prominent local throughout the forties…[and] when an early exhibition at the Barnet Aden drew artists and friends from other cities, a local reviewer wrote that “Alma Thomas, Delilah W. Pierce, and Lucille D. Roberts…assisted in receiving the week-end guests….”

Click to learn how you can view Keith Morrison’s book: Art In Washington and Its Afro-American Presence: 1940-1970.

Click to read more about Dr. Gail Abbott’s paper: The Barnett Aden Gallery A Home For Diversity In A Segregated City:

Keith Morrison,  Artist & Author

Keith Morrison,
Artist & Author

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