African American Pictures 1971: The Vision of Percy Ricks at the Delaware Art Museum (DelArt) honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibit that history once ignored. Comprising over 100 works of art by nationally and regionally acclaimed artists, African American Pictures 1971 represents the creation of a space for black artists largely excluded from mainstream art institutions.

The staging of African American Pictures 1971 was made possible by a multi-year collaboration between the Delaware Art Museum and members of its community, signifying a pivotal moment in the museum’s ongoing process of forming an inclusive arts center for the city of Wilmington, Delaware. The exhibition is co-presented by artist collective Aesthetic Dynamics, Inc. and guided by a strong advisory board of humanities scholars and community leaders.

This fall’s exhibition continues a series of major projects dedicated to researching and documenting Wilmington’s rich, yet largely under-documented historical contemporary art scene, led by DelArt’s curator of contemporary art, Margaret Winslow. In 2015, the museum presented Dream Streets: Art in Wilmington, 1970–1990. In 2018, the museum led a citywide effort to mark the 1968 uprisings and subsequent National Guard occupation of Wilmington, commissioning the contemporary artistic response of Hank Willis Thomas. Black Survival Guide, or how to live a police riot. For a future exhibition, Winslow is currently researching Delaware art funded by the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), as the museum’s commitment to honoring his city’s artistic heritage unfolds. continues.

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