Six new exhibitions on view this spring
Photo illustrations by Jaynell Keely and Kris Raser February 06, 2024
Explore artwork, minerals, books and more across campus
The UD Library, Museums and Press invites you to explore and get inspired by six new exhibitions on view this semester in gallery spaces across the University of Delaware campus.
Celebrate the incredible life of a 20th-century poet and activist and the women who helped bring her story into public view in Alice Dunbar-Nelson and the Legacy of Black Women's Archives.
Learn how the editors, publishers, writers and creators of Black print materials explored self-expression and fought for Black rights in Black Expression in Black and White: A Quest for National Identity.
Gain insight into how a beloved member of the Delaware community changed the lives of those around him in The Artistic Legacy of James E. Newton: The Archival Record.
Delve into the importance of humor and history in the artwork of a local community leader and educator in The Artistic Legacy of James E. Newton: Heritage and Character Portraits.
Get up close with a variety of artworks that are united by their ability to teach something about art and the creative process in Building a Collection for Teaching: Helen Farr Sloan's Gifts to the University's Museums.
Discover the impact of a carver’s cultural traditions and the materials and tools available to them in The Influence of Culture, Craft and Substance in Stone Carvings.
All exhibitions are free and open to the public. There are also many online exhibitions available for exploration and discovery.
The exhibitions honoring the late James E. Newton are part of a collaboration between the Delaware Art Museum and UD to celebrate Newton’s legacy as an artist, UD professor and leader in the Delaware community. Additional exhibitions in this collaboration include The Artistic Legacy of James E. Newton: Poetic Roots at the Delaware Art Museum.
Read on for more information about each exhibition.
Alice Dunbar-Nelson and the Legacy of Black Women's Archives
On view in the Special Collections Gallery in Morris Library through Aug. 9, 2024
In the 20th century, Alice Dunbar-Nelson was a writer, poet, journalist, activist and champion of preserving her story. For most of her life, she was known for her marriage to poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, so she took intentional steps to document her life – creating scrapbooks, collecting clippings and writing in diaries – to ensure her legacy would be more than “wife.”
In this exhibition, curated by doctoral candidate Monet Lewis-Timmons, visitors will learn about the incredible life of Dunbar-Nelson through her own papers and collected materials. They also will discover the women who helped share Dunbar-Nelson’s story by bringing her personal archive into public view, including Pauline A. Young, Dunbar-Nelson’s niece, and Akasha Gloria T. Hull, UD professor and Black feminist scholar. After browsing what’s on view, visitors will be inspired to reconsider how they document and preserve their own stories for future generations.
The Special Collections Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Black Expression in Black and White: A Quest for National Identity
On view in Morris Library’s Lincoln Exhibition Case through Aug. 9, 2024
The ephemeral, or transitory, materials of print culture – newspapers, diaries, scrapbooks and more – are essential historical artifacts today as they often provide insights into what was left out of history books. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the materials of Black print culture were also instrumental in developing community and reflecting the Black experience.
In this exhibition, curated by doctoral candidate Britney Henry, visitors will learn how the editors, publishers, writers and creators of Black print materials drew on this sense of community to understand who they were as a culture, to fight for Black rights and to explore self-expression through print mediums. The items on view include newspapers, scrapbooks, periodicals, books, manuscripts and more that underscore the impact of these print materials and the changes they generated.
The exhibition can be viewed during Morris Library’s operating hours.
The Artistic Legacy of James E. Newton: The Archival Record
On view in Morris Library’s Information Room through Aug. 23, 2024
A passionate artist, educator, and beloved member of the UD community, James E. Newton founded what is today known as UD’s Department of Africana Studies in the 1970s. He believed that art, education, mentorship and community could change the world for the better.
In this exhibition, curated by doctoral candidate Demetra McBrayer, visitors will explore how Newton built communities and changed the lives of those around him. Through artwork, photographs, articles, ephemera and other materials in Newton’s papers, which were recently acquired by the UD Library, Museums and Press, visitors will gain insights into his artistic output, his work as an educator both in the community and at the University, and his commitment to collecting and sharing Black history.
Research and curatorial work were supported by the Paul R. Jones Initiative. The exhibition can be viewed during Morris Library’s operating hours.
The Artistic Legacy of James E. Newton: Heritage and Character Portraits
On view in Mechanical Hall Gallery through May 16, 2024
Humor and history were key components that informed the late James E. Newton’s artistic process. Incorporating wit into artwork without interrupting its gravitas was important to the celebrated artist, public intellectual and UD professor of African American history.
In this exhibition, co-curated by doctoral student Carolyn Hauk, visitors will get a closer look at Newton’s drawings, collages and prints, and discover the many faces he used to explore character and personality. Through artworks of both real and imaginary characters, including jazz musicians, animals and even himself, visitors will delve into the importance of African American heritage, community and culture in his work.
Mechanical Hall Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Building a Collection for Teaching: Helen Farr Sloan's Gifts to the University's Museums
On view in Old College Gallery through May 16, 2024
While widely acknowledged for her efforts to steward the artistic legacy of husband John Sloan, Helen Farr Sloan was a 20th-century artist and educator herself who advocated for women’s place in the history of art and for students to have the opportunity to learn from original works of art.
In this exhibition, visitors will discover a selection of the nearly 1,400 artworks Farr Sloan donated to UD for students to engage and study with. The items on view span time periods, geographic locations and artistic mediums. From works created by artists with familiar names, to photographs using experimental techniques, and prints in less-than-perfect condition for students to learn how to conserve, all of the items are united by their ability to teach us something about art and the creative process.
Old College Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Influence of Culture, Craft and Substance in Stone Carvings
On view in the Mineralogical Museum in Penny Hall through May 16, 2024
Stone carvings have been made around the world for centuries. From China to Germany to Brazil, carvers in each area bring their own approach to the artform based on their cultural traditions and the materials and tools available to them. In this exhibition, visitors will explore how a carver’s background impacts their creations through the items on view from the University’s collection.
In addition, visitors can browse the Mineralogical Museum’s permanent collection, with approximately 350 mineral specimens on display.
The Mineralogical Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.