Published in association with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,” St. James Guide to Black Artists” features biographical and career information, as well as brief critical essays, on nearly 400 of the most prominent black artists. Approximately 75 percent of the artists profiled were alive at the time of publication. Also included are a small number of important artists from the nineteenth century.
All the entrants in the book are visual artists who work primarily as painters, sculptors and printmakers. But important artists in other media, such as photography, have also been included. Though the great majority of the entrants are from the U.S., about 100 are from Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil and elsewhere. Each entry provides: Biographical and career information Selected exhibitions Collections Publications Comments by the artist (when available) A signed, critical essay by an authority in the field
Illustrating the book are 300 photographs of artists and their works. Other value-added features include a selected bibliography on black artists as well as medium, nationality and illustration indexes.
Delilah W. Pierce’s husband, Joseph L. Pierce, was a man of distinction, integrity, and high pursuits during a very complex time in American history. Mr. Pierce’s career began in 1929 at the National Benefit Life Company in Philadelphia after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. He was one of the first African American’s to be included in The Negro in the United States, a non-fiction archive of African American’s who made an impact on society. He earned many distinctions throughout his life. However, he will forever be known as one of the first African American’s to graduate from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and a Broker/CPA/Partner at the John R. Pinkett Insurance Company in Washington, DC. According to research compiled by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, Pinkett Insurance was, “the first insurance and real estate firm in Washington, DC that was fully owned and operated by an African-American.” He worked hard throughout his career to overcome many challenges to become the Broker/CPA/Partner, which was a first of any firm in the United States.
Delilah W. Pierce attended the 1962 sorority luncheon celebrating founders’ day. Members from 5 cities were in attendance.
About Phi Delta Kappa
Dr. Gladys Merrit Ross, Julia Asbury Barnes, Dr. Florence Steele Hunt, Dr. Gladys Cannon Nunery, Ella Wells Butler, Mildred Morris Williams, Edna McConnell and Marguerite Gross
It was Palm Sunday, April 23, 1923, that Miss Gladys Merritt discussed the possibilities of organizing a sorority in Jersey City. Only one of the eight attending the organizational meeting decided to decline. Friday came and they voted in favor of a permanent organization which was incorporated by a Newark attorney, J. Mercer Burrell. Dr. G.E. Cannon, Mr. J.L. Merritt, Mrs. Lottie Cooper, and Mrs. Estelle Morris became their trustees.
The date of incorporation was May 23, 1923 which has become our Founders’ Day. The Sorority spread from the East to the South, Midwest, Southwest, Far West, to Liberia in West Africa, and Barbados, West Indies.
February 11, 1979 Delilah W. Pierce was invited to exhibit at Georgetown University. One of the co-exhibitors was Elaine Johnson, most known for being a curator at The Museum of Modern Art’s (MOMA) Department of Circulating Exhibitions and an advocate for Latin American Art who was interested in researching its impact on the American art community, as well as America as a whole. According to MOMA’s archives:
[Elaine Johnson] directed or co-directed twenty exhibitions of graphic art for the Museum, devoted to many styles and periods, including: Orozco: Studies for the Murals at Dartmouth College (MoMA Exh, #698, Nov. 22, 1961-Jan.21, 1962); Prints by German Expressionists (C/E II.2/128(13), 1961-1963); Modern American Drawings (ICE-F-44-60, 1961-1962); The Responsive Eye: Prints (“op” art) (MoMA Exh, #757, Feb. 25-Apr. 25, 1965; C/E II.3.4 (48), 1966-1969); and Dada, surrealism, and Today (C/E II.2/141(7), 1967-1969).
Additionally, according to the METRO-MoMA Survey of Archives of Latino Art, “Ms. Johnson was an avid supporter of Latin American art [who] decided to assemble all those materials…in what they called the Latin American Archive at the Library, in order to facilitate access to them.”
The “Hidden Masters: Artists Rising Above Anonymity” series
explores the artwork and examines the lives of artists whose careers
were eclipsed by their contemporaries. This series will bring these
artists to the forefront and pays homage to their creative genius.
Delilah Pierce, a prolific painter, captured the essence of her
subjects with elegance and force. A 40 year survey offers a
trajectory of her work and places her in context with her peers
Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones and Alma Thomas.