Exhibition and Programs Calendar for Academic Year 2014 - 2015
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.

Historic Vignette

Greg Adams

Greg Adams

Unfeigned Faith

100 Years of the Ministers' Conference - Photographs by Greg Adams

Open House Reception: Monday, June 2, 2014
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The Hampton University Ministers' Conference began in 1914 when the Negro Organizational Society, The Conference for Education in the South, the Southern Education Board, and the Cooperative Education board sought to address the growing concerns of the African American church and its relationship to the community. The Conference of Negro Ministers of Tidewater, Virginia, has expanded through the years, welcoming clergy from all Christian denominations. Commemorating 100 years, from all over the United States, clergy attend this week-long event.

Unfeigned Faith is a photographic tribute to the work of the Ministers' Conference. Greg Adams is exhibiting some of his favorite moments since he began covering the conference in 2003. Adams, an impressive figure, has captured events at the Hampton University Museum since 1999 and can be seen covering many major Hampton University functions.

A native of New York, Adams started taking photographs at an early age including the 1964 New York World's Fair. While serving in the military in 1974, Adams picked up a camera again. His career as a professional photographer began with weddings, portraits and documenting events. Greg Adams has had his works exhibited throughout the United States, Central and South America and Europe. For more information contact Dr. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Curator of Collections at 757.727.5508 or Vanessa.Thaxton-Ward@hamptonu.edu

Unfeigned Faith will be on exhibition from June 2 – November 25, 2014
This exhibition is sponsored in conjunction with the Hampton University Ministers' Conference.

Red and Yellow Trees, 2005

Red and Yellow Trees, 2005

Hoop Jumper # 6, Blu, 2008

Hoop Jumper # 6, Blu, 2008

Michael B. Platt: A Digital Journey
Opens, Saturday June 14, 2014

Master printmaker-Master image-maker — Master storyteller, Michael B. Platt: A Digital Journey includes images that reflect transformation, beauty, and a narrative between the viewer, the image and the artist. Born and raised in Washington, D. C., where he has taught and mentored countless numbers of artists, Platt works in a studio environment that provides stimulation and the energy to create the narratives that generate so many emotions. The works represent "the marginalized and the survivors" that exist in spaces that are discarded like an old women's prison, a bare forest, and the homelands of a displaced people. Platt describes his work, "for the past three years my imagery has centered on ritual and the transformation of the human spirit that occurs when it confronts imagined or actual events and circumstances. Most recently, using digitally manipulating female figures to manifest such transformations in my prints, as well as the artist books and broadsides done in collaborations with poet Carol Beane, I have addressed issues of slavery, Hurricane Katrina, waiting, and searching for home." For more information contact Dr. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Curator of Collections, 757.727.5508 or Vanessa.Thaxton-Ward@hamptonu.edu.

Michael B. Platt: A Digital Journey will be on exhibition from June 14 - November 22, 2014

Related Programs held in conjunction with Michael B. Platt: A Digital Journey

Open Mic
The Biggers' Circle held an Open Mic on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Hampton University students displayed their talents with over 130 in attendance throughout the evening and twenty performers.

View the Open Mic Gallery »

2015 Exhibitions

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."

The opening reception for this exhibition is sponsored in part by Hampton Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Historic Vignette

To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade

February 7, 2015 – February 28, 2015
Located in the Hampton History Gallery, second floor

This traveling exhibition panel examines Virginia's role in the internal trade in enslaved people before the Civil War. Central to this exploration are two paintings by British artist Eyre Crowe, who witnessed the trade in Richmond and Charleston early in 1853 and created compelling images of what he saw. Slaves Waiting for Sale presents the enslaved in the moments just before they are sold, and After the Sale: Slaves Going South documents the chaotic scene at the foot of Eighth Street as the enslaved are herded onto railroad cars or marched away overland in coffles.

Curated by Maurie D. McInnis, professor of art history and vice provosts of academic affairs at the University of Virginia, To Be Sold is an exhibition from the Library of Virginia with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Click images to enlarge.

Public Programs

Stimulate Your Mind with Creative Hands...

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

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 1pm – 3pm
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 1pm – 3pm

RSVP to Crystal Johnson Horne at 727.5980 or crystalc.johnson@hamptonu.edu

Hampton University Museum - 19th Annual Holiday and Kwanzaa Marketplace
Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dylan Pritchard

Dylan Pritchard

Friday, December 5, 2014

  • Marketplace 10am – 7:00pm

    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 5:30pm – 7:00pm

    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 gently used clothing items for women that will be given to Transitions Battered Women’s Shelter

Saturday, December 6, 2014, 1pm – 4pm - Holiday and Kwanzaa Jazz Brunch and Marketplace

Fee: Adults - $12.00
Children – 10 years old and under - $10.00

  • View the permanent galleries
  • Listen to live Jazz with AS-1 and 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 contact Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph.D. @ 757.727.5508 or Vanessa.Thaxton-Ward@hamptonu.edu by November 28, 2014


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.