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Advisory board formed for Paul Jones Collection

John Henry by Charles White is one of the works featured in the Paul R. Jones Collection.
11:23 a.m., Dec. 13, 2004--The University of Delaware has formed the Paul R. Jones Collection Board of Advisers, to advise on the use of the collection as an educational resource and on the overall enrichment and advancement of the collection.

The Paul R. Jones Collection, with more than 1,500 pieces, is counted among the world’s oldest, largest and most complete collections of works by 20th Century African American artists. The collection was given to the University in 2001 by Jones, an Atlanta businessman.

“A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection” is a major exhibition being held through June on the Newark campus, in both Mechanical Hall, which was renovated to house the collection, and adjacent Old College.

The advisory board, headed by William B. DeLauder, retired president of Delaware State University in Dover, includes artists, collectors, educators and others who appreciate the enormous value and potential of the collection.

“We appreciate the willingness of Dr. DeLauder and the other members of the committee to provide guidance on ways to share exhibits, involve other institutions and help the Paul Jones Collection grow,” UD President David Roselle said. “It is our intention to have the collection become well known to a wide audience.”

An important activity of the board will be to encourage and support the use of the collection to increase the appreciation of African American art and its recognition as a central element of American art.

The board will encourage appropriate donations from artists and collectors, and will recommend additional acquisitions to the collection. It also will recommend exhibitions and related educational and cultural uses of the collection.

Furthermore, the board will encourage partnerships in the use of the Paul R. Jones Collection between UD and other educational and cultural institutions, and specifically historically black colleges and universities.

In addition to Jones and DeLauder, members of the board of advisers are:

  • Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker;
  • Florence B. Bonner, chairperson of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Howard University in Washington, D.C.;
  • Lucinda Bunnen, an Atlanta photographer and arts patron;
  • Wayne Craven, H.F. du Pont Professor Emeritus of Art History at UD;
  • Edmund Barry Gaither, director and curator of the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston;
  • Linda J. Gilliam of Wilmington, an art collector;
  • Yvonne A. Gordon of Wilmington, vice president of marketing for MBNA America;
  • Eric Hanks of the M. Hanks Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif.;
  • Catherine Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One Inc. in Baltimore;
  • Ingrid Saunders Jones, senior vice president for corporate affairs for the Coca-Cola Co. in Atlanta;
  • Cynthia Primo Martin, president of the Primo Fund for Racial Justice, an art collector and a member of UD’s Board of Trustees;
  • Teresa Mason, executive vice president at MBNA America in Wilmington and an art collector;
  • Joan T. Mobley, an art collector and secretary-treasurer of UD’s Board of Trustees;
  • Donna Jones Northington of Marietta, Ga., vice president for strategic planning for Turner Network Sales;
  • Donald A. Parks, director of the Arts Center Gallery at Delaware State University in Dover;
  • Neil Watson, executive director of the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington;
  • John Wieland, owner of John Wieland Homes in Atlanta; and
  • Dyana Williams, president of the International Association of African-American Music in Gladwyne, Pa.
    Ex-officio members are Roselle and Provost Dan Rich.

The first meeting of the advisory board was held in November, during grand opening festivities surrounding the exhibition.

Article by Neil Thomas

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