Exhibition and Programs Calendar for Academic Year 2012 - 2013
Theme: Freedom Fighters: In Commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial

*All Programs are Subject to Change

Historic Vignette: Civil War, Emancipation and Education:
Samuel Chapman Armstrong and the Pen of Liberty

On Permanent Display, Second Floor Rotunda

Hampton University Museum will display the Pen of Liberty and the Military Frock Coat worn by Union Army Brevet Brigadier General Samuel Chapman Armstrong the founder of Hampton Normal Industrial and Agricultural Institute. General Armstrong was working in Hampton with the Freedman's Bureau at the close of the Civil War. A commander of African American troops during the war and the son of an educator, he developed a strong interest in African American education. He proposed the purchase of a 120-acre farm called "Little Scotland," located on the Hampton River near the area where Mary Peake had taught. In 1868, General Armstrong became the first principal of Hampton Normal and Agricultural School and he guided it for the school's first twenty-five years until his death in 1893.

Emancipation did not happen at once everywhere in the United States and its territories. It came to different regions at different times. Hampton University successfully acquired one of three pens of identical construction which President Abraham Lincoln used in 1862 and 1863 to sign the three proclamations which emancipated enslaved African Americans. The Pen of Liberty although very simple in construction is a symbol of the strength and tenacity not only of the founder of Hampton but for the generations of graduates from this university and the members of the surrounding community.

The Dianne Whitfield-Locke & Carnell Locke Collection: Building on Tradition

The Hampton University Museum is the venue for an exhibition of over sixty two dimensional works of art collected by two passionate collectors, Dr. Dianne Whitfield-Locke and her husband, Carnell Locke. Only a portion of the Locke's collection will be on view from October 12 - May 10, 2014. The exhibition will include paintings, prints, and drawings from their collection that numbers well over 1100 works. The exhibition will include master artists from the 19th Century including Henry O. Tanner, Robert Duncanson and Grafton Tyler Brown. Other master artists from the Locke's collection that will be displayed include Harlem Renaissance period pieces from Aaron Douglass, a rare work by William H. Johnson, as well as works by Palmer Hayden and Jacob Lawrence.

One of Dianne Whitfield Locke's passions, sculpture by African American artists is also a highlight of the exhibition. Over sixteen sculptures from the Locke collection including works by Richard Hunt, Augusta Savage, Beulah Woodward, Richmond Barthe, and art historian and artist, Dr. David Driskell have been selected.

The couples desire to collect the best and most promising artists are well represented in the exhibition curated by Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph. D. and Shirley Woodson Reid. Dianne Whitfield-Locke, a 1970 graduate of Hampton Institute and a graduate of Howard University's School of Dentistry states that "when she first began collecting her focus in collecting was "the late 1800s - 1940s." However, the couple has expanded their collecting to include more contemporary artists that are also at the top of the art scene, like Michael Platt of Washington, D. C. as well as others. The Locke's collection also included a number of limited edition books on Horace Pippin, Dean Mitchell, Wilfredo Lam and others. The Locke's have also collected a number of photographers including James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks and Deborah Willis. Co-curator, Woodson Reid states, "The Dianne Whitfield-Locke and Carnell Locke collection of African American art can be seen as a product of these groundbreaking years of research and inventiveness," begun by the many art historians and institutions that have focused on collecting African American art.

This couple enjoys not only the works of art that will be displayed in the Hampton University Museum galleries but they live with many of their treasured pieces in their Mitchellville, Maryland home and they also share their art with their patrons that visit their dentists offices in Washington, D. C.

Vanessa Thaxton-Ward is the curator of collections at the Hampton University Museum and Shirley Woodson- Reid is a noted artist, educator and curator. Woodson-Reid resides in Michigan.

The exhibition will be on display from October 12 - May 10, 2014

The Curator's Tea

The time to reserve your place at The Curator's Tea has been extended to Thursday, March 27, 2014. Please email Vanessa.Thaxton-Ward@hamptonu.edu to RSVP and mail in your payment.

Stimulate Your Mind with Creative Hands...

Tree House!

Saturday, March 23, 2014

Tree House is geared toward children between 4 and 14 with the mission to "stimulate the mind by nourishing the heart with creative hands." For more information about Tree House, contact Crystal Johnson Horne at 757.727.5980 or crystalc.johnson@hamptonu.edu.

Treehouse Flyer
(Adobe PDF)

Public Programs


The Curiosity Room at the Hampton University Museum
The Curiosity Room is located on the 2nd floor of the Hampton University Museum. It is a place donated and manned by the Greater Williamsburg Women's Association, where children can learn to appreciate and explore the many facets of art. The room is designed for pre-school through first grade children. In addition to structured activities in the room, children receive guided tours designed for their age level. The room is open on the following Thursday's from 10 a.m. - 12 noon by appointment only:

We are interested in serving local Head start, pre-school and kindergarten programs. For reservations please contact Vanessa Thaxton-Ward at 757.727.5508. Maximum class size is ten and the minimum class size is three. The room is sponsored by GWWA (The Greater Williamsburg Women's Association).

Hampton University Museum

Founded in 1868, the Hampton University Museum is the nation's oldest African American museum. With galleries dedicated to African American, African, American Indian and Asian and Pacific art and artifacts, the museum contains more than 9,000 objects representing cultures and people from around the world. Within its fine arts collection is the largest existing collection of works in any museum by the artists John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Samella Lewis.

The Hampton University Museum is located in the newly restored Huntington Building (the former library) on the grounds of historic Hampton University campus. From Interstate 64, take exit 267/Hampton University and follow the signs to the museum. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 12 noon to 4 p.m.; closed on Sundays and major holidays. Admission is free. Call 757.727.5308 or visit museum.hamptonu.edu for information.