James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art - 16th, Washington, DC April 14-16, 2005

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Theme: "Canonical Formations: Meaning, Interpretations, Valuations"

Honoring David C. Driskell, Art Historian, Artist, Curator, and Collector. Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of James A. Porter (1905-1970).

The Porter Colloquium continues its tradition of boldly promoting innovative perspectives, ground breaking scholarship and open critical dialogue on African American Art. During this year’s three-day program, scholars, artists, and cultural critics will examine the ideas that influence how works of African American artists are viewed, interpreted and valued. The Colloquium will offer competing theoretical claims, critique and analyze critical terms challenging Eurocentric hegemonies, and chart the course for revisions in African American art historical discourse. The Colloquium also aims to expand the analysis of art production by artists of color, acknowledging the complexity of artistic construction, and the necessity to carefully examine these works throughout the African Diaspora. To this end, the Colloquium reveres the legacy of Professor James A. Porter and honors artists of color with clear and probing analyses of our visual traditions.

About The Porter colloquium:

The James A. Porter Colloquium is the leading forum for scholars, artists, curators and others in the field of African American Art and Visual Culture. Established at Howard University in 1990, the annual Colloquium is named in honor of James A. Porter, the pioneering Art Historian and Professor, whose 1943 publication Modern Negro Art laid the foundation for the field of study. The Colloquium continues his legacy through dynamic programming, scholarly research and artistic leadership. Past Colloquium presenters have included such leading scholars and artists as David Driskell, Ann Gibson, Leslie King Hammond, Michael D. Harris, Samella Lewis, E.J. Montgomery, John Scott, Deborah Willis and Judith Wilson.

About James A. Porter:

The Colloquium honors the memory of Professor James A. Porter, a graduate of Howard University Department of Art. Professor Porter, after further study at New York University, returned to teach at Howard University in 1928, and taught art history and served as chair of the Department of Art from 1953 until his death in 1970. The teaching, public lectures and publications of Professor Porter, particularly his Modern Negro Art, first published in 1943 and republished by Howard University Press in 1992 (with an Introduction by Dr. David Driskell), have provided the foundation for African American art as a distinct research and teaching area within the history of American art. This year’s Colloquium commemorates the 100th Anniversary of James Porter’s birth.


All Colloquium events will be held at the Armour J. Blackburn Center on the Campus of Howard University, with the exception of the Thursday evening’s Annual David C. Driskell Lecture to be held at the Art Gallery Auditorium on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park and Friday’s Private Sale to be held in the Fine Arts Building. Sessions begin daily at 10 am. Admission to all Colloquium sessions and lectures is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 14

Colloquium Opening


• African American Art History – Then & Now

• Art at Howard

4th Annual David C. Driskell Lecture

5:00pm Reception

6:00pm Lecture Title: “The Burden of Representation And the African Diaspora” Sharon Patton, Ph.D., Director Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art

Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, Room 2203 Art-Sociology Building - Transportation from Colloquium available.

Friday, April 15

Keynote Address

Richard A. Long, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Emory University

Special Lecture on Driskell

Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, PhD, Associate Dean, Howard University and Director, Howard University Gallery of Art

Special Lecture on Porter

Edmund B. Gaither, Director, Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists


• Art Historical Perspectives

• Exploring the Languages of Visual Arts Discourse

Colloquium Art Benefit Series

Private Sale

Howard University Department of Art Fine Arts Building


Also featuring the formal presentation of the 2005 Colloquium Artist's Series commissioned limited edition work by E. J. Montgomery

Saturday, April 16


• Art on My Mind

• Hip Hop: New Sensibilities, New Expressions

• Artists Panel

• Publishing the Word: Presenting Text

• Canonical Formations: Open Roundtable Discussion

Howard University Alumni Exhibition – “A Proud Continuum”

4:00pm Reception

2005 Colloquium Benefit Gala

Gala Chairs Claudine Brown and Larry Frazier

Honoring and celebrating the work of art historian, curator, artist and collector, Dr. David C. Driskell, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, College Park

Armour J. Blackburn Center Ballroom


  • 6:00pm Cocktails and Silent Auction
  • 7:00pm Gala
  • 8:00pm Live Auction

Benefit Gala Dinner • Silent and Live Art Auction • Special Tributes

Live Jazz from Musicians from the Howard University Jazz Ensemble and

other special guests.


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