Delilah W. Pierce

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Delilah W. Pierce Wrote: The Significance of Art Experiences In The Education Of The Negro

In Carter G. Woodson’s The Negro History Bulletin, volume XV, number 6, published in March of 1952, Delilah W. Pierce wrote:


Education for “our way of life” in “our times”; education for “all the people” that our way of life might be maintained; this we hear and say ever so often and, as Americans, firmly believe. We believe that our security, progress and happiness, as a democratic…

Take a moment to enjoy Delilah’s article:

The Significance Of The Art Experiences In The Education Of The Negro


Not Actual Cover


Delilah W. Pierce Natural Perspective

Delilah W Pierce.Natural Perspective

Press Release

For Immediate Release

College Park, MD August 20, 2015 – Beginning September 27, 2015 Delilah W. Pierce Natural Perspective opens at the University of Maryland University College Arts Program Gallery. The show runs to January 3, 2016. On November 8, 2015, from 3 pm to 5 pm, there will be a panel discussion and reception at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center featuring Floyd Coleman, Ph.D., Art Historian, Jerry Langley, Art Collector, Author, Wanda Spence, Great-Niece of Artist, and Myrtis Bedolla, Owner, Galerie Myrtis.

Delilah W. Pierce, born in 1904, 34 years after the American Industrial Revolution (1820-1870), was an African American artist and Washington, DC native who, through her body of work, helped to expand western thought about what African American art and subject matter was at the time. Delilah captured what was beautiful, simple, and innocent in the world. Her usage of figurative to abstract subject matter was inspired by her ability to see prosperity and opportunity during Jim Crow and mass lynching. Art critic Judith Means agrees:

“The way she perceives the world, with joy and optimism, and the stunning clarity of her finely-developed aesthetic sense are integral not only to her character but also to the vivid visual textures of her work.”

Join the Arts Program at University of Maryland University College for an art exhibition showcasing the works of Delilah W. Pierce. Delilah W. Pierce also worked in D.C. public schools for more than 25 years to provide artistic training to the next generation of artists.

You are invited to experience the art of Delilah W. Pierce, as well as take a journey through the life and artistic expression of one of Washington, DC’s rediscovered artists, educators, curators, and advocates. To RSVP:

Click to download invitation. (The link on the invitation is incorrect. Please visit if you plan to attend.)




Office of the President

University Arts Program

3501 University Boulevard East, Suite 0144

Adelphi, MD 20783-8000



Delilah W Pierce.Natural Perspective

Delilah W. Pierce Exhibited At A Tribute For The First African American Painter Of Note – Lois Mailou Jones At Martin Luther King Library, 1979

In February of 1979 Delilah W. Pierce was asked to exhibit at a tribute to artist Lois Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998) held at the Martin Luther King Library in Washington, DC. Lois Mailou Jones and Delilah W. Pierce were more than peers in the visual arts. They both summered and have homes on Martha’s Vineyard Island, and in Washington, DC, they traveled the world together to share their talents with the international community; and were advocates of education, women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights. Ms. Jones is also buried in Oak Bluffs Cemetery (Martha’s Vineyard) where they both remain a fixture in the rich history of that island. Lois Mailou Jones was a leader in expanding black art perceptions, and art perceptions as a whole.

Afro American reporter Charles Hall wrote in his 1979 article:

“More and more, she [Lois Mailou Jones] is being called America’s first black female painter of note. Edmonia Lewis, sculptor, Augusta Savage, sculptor, and Laura Waring, portraitist, were among the women who preceded her and proves their skills in several media.

None, however, dealt exclusively and masterfully with all phases of painting.”

Ms. Jones’ paintings can be found at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC), and in Dr. Bill Cosby’s private collection to name a few.


Also View:

Lois Mailou Jones, Black Women in the Visual Arts, Martin Luther King Library Wash, DC, March 10 1979.

Lois Mailou Jones, Black Women in the Visual Arts, Martin Luther King Library Wash, DC, March 10 1979.

Afro American Newspaper Print, Dansun Cafe A Paris By Lois Mailou Jones.

Afro American Newspaper Print, Dansun Cafe A Paris By Lois Mailou Jones.

Delilah W. Pierce Mentioned In Recent Martha’s Vineyard Magazine Article

Zita Cousens is the owner of the Cousen Rose Gallery located in Oak Bluffs, MA on the famed Circuit Avenue. Ms. Cousens was recently interviewed by the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. In her article she discusses how Delilah W. Pierce and her dear friend Lois Mailou Jones, artist were among the first exhibitors. Please read her article: Zita Cousens: Her Oak Bluffs gallery is in its thirtieth year and going strong. Delilah held exhibitions their from 1980 to 1992. She was very involved in the Martha’s Vineyard art community, holding exhibitions from 1960 to 1992 at the Cousen Rose and Old Sculpin galleries to name a few. Delilah W. Pierce and her family have vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard for 5 generations.

To view more about Delilah W. Pierce and the history of African Americans on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket please view: African-Americans on Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket. The book was authored by Robert C. and Karen E. Hayden, and published by Select Publications and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1999.


Also View:

Cousen Rose Gallery, Oak Bluffs, MA Martha's Vineyard

Cousen Rose Gallery, Oak Bluffs, MA
Martha’s Vineyard

Delilah W. Pierce Among Alma Thomas’ Little Paris Group, 1948

Delilah W. Pierce and Alma Thomas were professional peers and friends. According to  the Smithsonian Institutes Archives of American Art their relationship was captured in the Alma Thomas papers, 1894-2000, in her Little Paris Group, 1948. The Little Paris Group, as described in the archives:

Met once a week with Miles Celine Tabary and Lois Jones, developing skills and tyles circulating in at least six exhibition works a year. The annual exhibit was one of the highlights of the season, looked forward to the art lovers of the Washington community. (In the catalog of the District -Columbia Art Association, Exhibition, on back of the forward page.)

Visit the Archives of American Art to learn more about: The Little Paris Group, 1948.

The Little Paris Group, 1948

The Little Paris Group, 1948

Jessica B. Harris Mentioned Delilah W. Pierce In The Martha’s Vineyard Table

Jessica B. Harris, author of The Martha’s Vineyard Table mentioned Delilah W. Pierce while reflecting on her mother. Click to learn more about: The Martha’s Vineyard Table.


Also View:

The Martha's Vineyard Table, Author Jessica B. Harris

The Martha’s Vineyard Table,
Author Jessica B. Harris

Delilah W. Pierce Gives Talk – Promoted In The Washingtonian Magazine

Delilah W. Pierce was a very active artist, curator, and educator. One of her talks was promoted in The Washingtonian Magazine in 1985. Learn More: The Washingtonian, Volume 20.

The Washingtonian, Volume 20

The Washingtonian, Volume 20

Delilah W. Pierce Among The Permanent Howard University Gallery Collection

Delilah W. Pierce was not only an artist, she was an activist, educator and community leader. Ms. Pierce believed in supporting historically black institutions. She had exhibitions at the Howard University Gallery in 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, and 1976. Delilah W. Pierce’s Gay Head Cliffs is among their permanent collection. Visit the Howard University Gallery as soon as you can!

Delilah W. Pierce Included In The Women’s Studies Encyclopedia

Author Helen Tierney published a cannon of female African American painters. In her anthology she covered the wider expressions of African American female artists. Delilah W. Pierce was included in the cannon. Ms. Tierney explored some of the core “emotions” of African American art: celebration, grief, anger, and pride. Check out Helen Tierney’s The Women’s Studies Encyclopedia.

Women's Studies Encyclopedia

Women’s Studies Encyclopedia

Delilah W. Pierce Listed At Current Washington Water Color Association Event

The Washington Water Color Association is holding its Spring Art Exhibition from March 5 to May 31 2013 at the Woman’s National Democratic Club. Delilah was an active member during her life and regularly exhibited. Delilah W. Pierce served as their Vice President 1974 ‑ 1976, Treasurer 1978 to 1983, Board Member 1974 ‑ 1983, Elected Honorary Member and Exhibits Chairman in 1983.

Washington Water Color Association

Washington Water Color Association