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Charles White

Charles White
The Gordon Gift to The University of Texas

An exhibition catalog featuring the artwork of Charles White, an influential and beloved artist, educator, and activist.

Series: Tower Books Imprint

Blanton Museum of Art
November 2019
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136 pages | 9.875 x 12 |

Charles White (1918–1979), one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished and innovative draftsmen, was also highly regarded as an educator and activist. His life spanned the Great Depression and the WPA era as well as the civil rights movement and the early days of feminism, movements that he not only actively participated in but also shaped. This catalog celebrates the artist’s remarkable career and legacy and the generous gift of artworks to The University of Texas from Susan G. and Edmund W. Gordon, lifelong friends of White and his wife, Frances.

In addition to essays on each of the twenty-three works of art owned by The University of Texas and an interview with Edmund Gordon and his son, Ted Gordon, the catalog includes first-person tributes to White from artists, writers, actors, activists, and students whose lives he touched, including fellow artists Margaret Burroughs and Alice Neel; singer Harry Belafonte; poet Langston Hughes; and former students David Hammons, Kent Twitchell, and Kerry James Marshall.

  • Foreword
  • Greg Fenves
  • Part I: Short Essays
    • Sidewalk of New York (ca. 1938–1942), by John P. Murphy
    • Can a Negro Study Law in Texas? (1946), by Rudolph H. Green
    • We Have Been Believers (1949), by Carter E. Foster
    • General Moses and Sojourner (Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth) (1954), by Phillip A. Townsend
    • I’ve Been ’Buked and I’ve Been Scorned (1956), by Edmund T. Gordon
    • Awaken from the Unknowing (1961), by Edmund W. Gordon
    • Young Woman (1964), by John P. Murphy
    • Harvest (1964), by Esther Adler
    • Head (1967), by Phillip A. Townsend
    • Elijah (1969), by John P. Murphy
    • Wanted Poster Series #6 (1969), by Phillip A. Townsend
    • Wanted Poster Series #10 (1970), by Veronica Roberts
    • Homage to Sterling Brown (1972), by Cherise Smith
    • Harriet (1972), by Ashley James
    • Vision (1973), by John P. Murphy
    • Prophet II (1975), by Esther Adler
    • I Have a Dream (1976), by Jared Quinton
    • Love Letter III (1977), by Jared Quinton
    • Sound of Silence II (1978), by Veronica Roberts
    • At the Table (1978), by John P. Murphy
    • Study of Heads (1979), by Phillip A. Townsend
  • Part II: Interview with Dr. Edmund W. Gordon and Edmund T. Gordon
    • Excerpts from an Interview with Drs. Edmund W. Gordon and Edmund T. “Ted” Gordon
    • Conducted and Edited by Cherise Smith; Transcribed by Lynne Maphies
  • Part III: Sphere of Influence
    • Compiled, with Biographical Introductions, by Veronica Roberts
    • Benny Andrews (1930–2006)
    • Romare Bearden (1911–1988)
    • Harry Belafonte (b. 1927)
    • John Biggers (1924–2001)
    • Margaret Burroughs (1915–2010)
    • Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012)
    • Michael Ray Charles (b. 1967)
    • Eldzier Cortor (1916–2015)
    • Ernest Crichlow (1914–2005)
    • W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963)
    • Philip Evergood (1901–1973)
    • Edmund W. Gordon (b. 1921)
    • David Hammons (b. 1943)
    • Lorraine Hansberry (1930–1965)
    • Langston Hughes (1902–1967)
    • Rockwell Kent (1882–1971)
    • Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000)
    • Norman Lewis (1909–1979)
    • Kerry James Marshall (b. 1955)
    • Alice Neel (1900–1984)
    • Gordon Parks (1912–2006)
    • Sidney Poitier (b. 1927)
    • Paul Robeson (1898–1976)
    • May Stevens (b. 1924)
    • Kent Twitchell (b. 1942)
    • Vincent Valdez (b. 1977)
    • Hale Woodruff (1900–1980)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Glossary of Printmaking Terms
  • Contributors
  • Photo Credits

Veronica Roberts
Austin, Texas

A curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton, Roberts edited and contributed essays to Nina Katchadourian: Curiouser (2017) and Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt (2014).