Work by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller and John Wilson are more fully explored in our Landman Gallery.
The work of sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller is considered a precursor to the Harlem Renaissance. She is known for her groundbreaking depictions of the African and African-American experience. Danforth Art is proud to be the caretaker of a body of work that expands upon some of the better-known aspects of Fuller’s oeuvre and its collection of Fuller’s work is one of the largest in existence. Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) is one of the first African-American female sculptors of importance. Fuller was born and raised in Philadelphia, and trained at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts). Upon graduation in 1899, she moved to Paris, where she studied with a number of artists, and gained the friendship of prominent mentors like intellectual leader W.E.B. DuBois and famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Fuller returned to the United States in 1902. Seven years later, she married Dr. Solomon Fuller, the first psychiatrist of African descent to practice in the United States. The couple settled in Framingham, where Fuller lived until her death in 1968.
John Wilson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1922, and studied under Karl Zerbe at the Museum School in Boston during the 1940’s. Wilson was a part of the group that later became known as Boston Expressionists, a focus of the permanent collection at Danforth Art. Wilson’s broad-ranging career involved him working with Férnand Leger in Paris, collaborations with the Taller de Grafica Popular in Mexico, and significant commemorative portraits of the late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Examples of his figural work and depictions of Martin Luther King, Jr., including a large bronze study, can be seen at Danforth Art.
In September 2009, Danforth Art and Framingham Public Schools partnered to create an integrated Visual Arts and Social Studies curriculum focusing on a Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, a local artist of national importance. The collaboration is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with a “Learning in the Arts” grant of $20,000, matched by the Sudbury Foundation and Target Foundation. The resulting education program teaches students about the life and work of Fuller while developing their critical thinking skills through close observation and discussion. A hands-on art activity expands the learning experience.
Danforth Art is thrilled to announce our commitment to acquire Wilson’s Head of Martin Luther King, Jr. for our permanent collection, creating lasting connections to significant aspects of our nation’s cultural and social history. To learn more about how you might contribute to making this sculpture and other works by African-American artists an eternal presence at Danforth Art, please contact development associate Gabrielle McKenzie by calling 508-620-0050, ext. 10 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.