Exhibition and Programs Calendar for Academic Year 2015 - 2016

*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.

Historic Vignette

One Shot: A Selection of Photographs By Reuben V. Burrell, (February 27, 1919 – February 3, 2015)

Hampton History Gallery

A treasured campus figure for several decades, Reuben V. Burrell captured on film the spirit of Hampton University – the essence of its students, faculty, alumni and staff, and the heart of the campus which he loved.

As Hampton's Griot, there was hardly a face that he did not recognize. From alumni from the 1970s and 80s to faculty in the 2000s, "Mr. B," as he was affectionately known, knew their names-and often the names of their parents or siblings who also may have attended Hampton. A modest, humble and generous man, Mr. Burrell, was known to photograph alumni weddings, mentor aspiring photography students and profess the power of black and white photography.

Born in Washington, D. C., Mr. Burrell was "a child of the depression," He was accepted into Hampton Institute in 1938k, and he was one of the first members of the new camera club that sprang up among students at Hampton Institute in the early 1940s. Completing his course requirements in auto mechanics in 1940, Mr. Burrell was sent by Hampton to Hemphill Diesel School in New York. He returned to Hampton and taught, as a civilian, in a Naval program on campus until he was drafted into the Navy. Upon his discharge, Burrell resumed his studies at Hampton Institute and earned a B. S. in industrial arts in 1947. After earning an M. A. in industrial arts education from New York University in 1949, Burrell returned to Hampton to teach but found that the Diesel Engines course and some of the other Trade School courses had been dissolved. Burrell became Hampton Institute's full-time photographer in the 1960s under President Jerome Holland's administration.

Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett: A Celebration of 100 Years and Elizabeth Catlett and the
Hampton Art Tradition
January 30, 2015 - November 14, 2015

Main Changing Gallery and Blue Gallery

In celebration of Elizabeth Catlett's one hundredth birthday, the Hampton University Museum will highlight works on paper from our extensive Catlett collection. Noted for having the largest collection of Elizabeth Catlett works on paper Hampton is pleased to show some of our favorites that have been shown at Hampton or loaned to institutions throughout the United States along with twenty-five pieces that have never been shown at Hampton. Twenty-five works pulled from art storage were framed for this special year long commemoration of Ms. Catlett's life and work. The corresponding exhibition that will be held in the adjoining gallery, Elizabeth Catlett and the Hampton Art Tradition will include rarely seen works by Charles White, John Biggers, Samella Lewis, Persis Jennings and Annabelle Baker.

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, known primarily as a printmaker and sculptor, Catlett is acclaimed both for her technical brilliance and the emotional impact of her work. Proud of her African American heritage Catlett made compassionate, heroic images of ordinary people. Catlett's work, expresses the themes of injustice, black women as figures of strength, and the mother and child bond. Her work also reflects her shared pride, grief, joy and outrage of the human condition for both African Americans and Mexicans. Catlett stated, "I stress simultaneous identification with Mexican and African American concerns."

New Power Generation 2016:  A National Juried Exhibition

Upcoming Exhibitions

New Power Generation 2016: A National Juried Exhibition
January 29 – May 14, 2016

Main Changing Gallery and Blue Gallery

The 5th Bi-Annual New Power Generation 2016: A National Juried Exhibition opens on January 29, 2016. Over 39 pieces will be displayed featuring artists from as close as the Tidewater region, the District of Columbia, Georgia and throughout the nation. The two jurors, Dr. Alvia Wardlaw and Dr. Stella Jones had an enormous task to select from the artists that entered the exhibition.

Dr. Alvia Wardlaw is one of the country's leading experts in African American art. She is a professor of Art History at Texas Southern University. She is also the director and curator of the University Museum, Texas Southern and served as the curator of Modern and Contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from 1995-2009.

Stella Jones, M.D., and her late husband, Harry Jones, co-f0unded Stella Jones Gallery in 1996 with the assistance of Dr. Samella Lewis, celebrated African American art historian. This highly acclaimed gallery, representing leading artists such as Richmond Barthe, Elizabeth Catlett, and Ed Clark is located in the central business district of New Orleans, Louisiana.

New Power Generation 2016, organized by the Hampton University Museum is a national competition for contemporary art by people of African descent. It is an opportunity for the museum to enhance its long-held reputation as a documenter of movements in the visual arts by focusing its attention on emerging and working artists who are creating new forms and charting new directions.

Five thousand dollars in total cash awards including the Museum Purchase Award ($1000) are named after individuals whose careers have had a significant impact on the visual arts in American and who have made lasting contributions to Hampton University and the Hampton University Museum. The Awards are named as follows: The Dr. John T. Biggers Drawing Award; The Elizabeth Catlett Printmaking Award; The Dr. Samella S. Lewis Painting Award; The Dr. Vicktor Lowenfeld Sculpture Award; The Joseph Gilliard Ceramics Award; The Reuben V. Burrell Photography Award; The Barbara Forst computer/Digital Art Award; The Lorraine Bolton Mixed Media Award, ($500.00).

The museum will host an opening reception for all participants of New Power Generation 2016 on January 29, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

Confirmed Sponsors

The Hampton Chapter, Links, Inc., The Reuben V. Burrell Photography Award - $500

If you are interested in sponsoring one of the Awards Categories please contact Dr. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, 757. 727.5508, Vanessa.Thaxton-Ward@hamptonu.edu.

Akili Ron Anderson: A Fifty Year Retrospective of Black Art and Life
July 9 – November 18, 2016

Main Changing Gallery and Blue Gallery

Art is cultural expression. As an artist I endeavor to realize my humanity and celebrate my ancestors and the creator through my skills, feelings, and insights as a full time practicing artist. I am a person of African heritage, born in America. I pridefully utilize my ethnicity to live, learn and envision imagery that utilizes historical precedents to realize future triumphs. I seek the mysteries and realities that validate and embolden African people, to a status of full world citizenship, with all the powers and responsibilities that accompany that position.

Akili Ron Anderson, an outstanding craftsman with an imagination and a visual language that is not only aesthetically beautiful but cultural strong will be featured in the Hampton University Museum from July 9 - November 18, 2016. Entitled Akili Ron Anderson: A 50 Year Retrospective of Black Art and Life, this exhibition will examine the artist's ability to effectively communicate his understanding and love of Black Art and Black Culture. This survey of his life's work will reveal to all his ability to paint in all paint mediums; to excel in printmaking, sculpture - experimenting with wood, ceramics and found objects; and above all, his ability to create the magnificent and monumental stained glass commissions. Akili's art speaks "Loud and Clear." We know, and he knows, that what he is doing " works."

A lifetime resident of Washington, D.C., he has successfully practiced as a full time visual artist since 1980. Mr. Anderson created art for the visual enhancement needs of cultural, religious and public institutions. His designs, fabricates and installs stained glass windows, sculptural forms, fine art paintings and theater sets. He is also well versed in still photography, cinematography, computer graphics, special effects and multi-media presentations. Anderson has been an active member of AfriCOBRA since 1979. AfricCOBRA is an organization that inverted the conventional meaning of "bad." In the context of AfricCOBRA, "bad" means bold; "bad" means aesthetic integrity, and a certain artistic and social commitment.

Mr. Anderson graduated from Cardoza High School in 1964. He attended the Corcoran School of Art and Howard University School of Arts and Science, Division of Fine Arts (1965-1969) and (2005 -2008). He obtained his BFA and MFA from Howard University in 2008. He was the first chairperson of the Visual Arts Department at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, co-founder of Nation House Organization (Watoto School) and has held many other honors. He is currently teaching full time in the department of Art at Howard University.

This retrospective will span 50 years of art making by Anderson including paintings from Junior High School. Luckily Mr. Anderson's mother kept much of his early work giving us an opportunity to see how his genius began at an early age.

Programs and Activities

Hampton University Museum 21st Annual Holiday and Kwanzaa Marketplace
Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Marketplace 10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Beginning at 10:00 a.m. purchase holiday and Kwanzaa gifts from the Museum Shop specializing in African, African-American and other gift items. Select vendors will be available with hand crafted items including jewelry, soaps, candles and art.

Evening Celebration 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Special Holiday Music by Hampton City School choirs from Armstrong School for the Arts and Bethel High School; storytelling by renowned Master Storyteller and educator, Dylan Pritchett of Williamsburg, VA; arts activities for children between the ages of 3 – 10 years old in The Curiosity Room, sponsored by The Greater Williamsburg Women’s Association. Continue to shop for your special holiday and Kwanzaa gifts. Refreshments provided by The Hampton Chapter, Links, Inc.

Admission to this event is free.
Guests are encouraged to donate trial size toiletries (i.e. deodorant, perfumes, soap) for women that will be given to Transitions Battered Women’s Shelter.

Holiday and Kwanzaa Jazz Brunch and Marketplace

Saturday, December 5, 2015, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Holiday and Kwanzaa Jazz Brunch and Marketplace

Fee – Adults - $15.00 Children – 10 years old and under - $10.00

View the permanent galleries * Listen to live Jazz with The Standard and other Hampton University Student Entertainment including spoken word, singing and dance sponsored by the HUM Biggers’ Circle*

Delight in Heavy Hors d’oeurves, desserts and light beverages * Purchase Holiday and Kwanzaa gifts from the Museum Shop and select vendors * Enjoy do it yourself art activities that focus on the celebration of Kwanzaa for children between the ages of 3 – 10 years old

To Register for the Holiday Jazz Brunch and Marketplace please fill out the form below or contact Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph.D. @ 757.727.5508 or Vanessa.Thaxton-Ward@hamptonu.edu by November 23, 2015.

View / Download the Registration Form (PDF) »

Click images to enlarge.

Public Programs

Stimulate Your Mind with Creative Hands...

What Time Is It? It's Tree House Time!

  • Saturday, December 12, 1pm - 3pm
    Special Holiday Party

RSVP to Crystal Johnson Horne at 727.5980 or crystalc.johnson@hamptonu.edu by
Wednesday, December 9, 2015.


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 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.