"Genesis: The African American Experience in Art," The Ronald W. and Patricia Turner Walters Collection

Howard University Gallery of Art

March 13 to November 30, 2023

Gallery hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Genesis features over 100 works of art from the Ronald W. and Patricia Turner Walters Collection. The exhibition incorporates selected works from the recent gift by Mrs. Walters to the Howard University Gallery of Art. Genesis interrogates six major themes at the axis of a multidirectional path intersecting historical, sociopolitical, and artistic movements as seen in the lives of African American such as: Empowered Realities, A Cultural Revival, Terrestrial Subjectivities, The Experience: Synthesizing the Past, A Road to Black Lives Matter, and Temporalities in Abstraction. It presents a trajectory of black subjectivity in the legacy of Howard University Department of Political Science chair and professor, international political scholar and activist Dr. Ronald W. Walters, and the artistic representation of African Americans as visual culture for social progress.


The Ronald W. and Patricia Turner Walters Collection

Patricia Turner and Ron W. Walters started building their art collection in the mid-1980s. The collection grew as Mrs. Walters visited galleries and frequented auction houses. According to her, “it was my friendship with the well-known African American artist, curator, and scholar David Driskell that paved the road for acquiring knowledge about African American art, the artists, and artworks.” Mrs. Walters built the art collection as Dr. Walters, her husband, built his career as a leading scholar of politics and race. Due to the sociopolitical climate in the United States during the 20th century, Mrs. Walters started collecting when African American art was not the commodity that it is at the present. More than a decade after her husband’s passing, Mrs. Walters donated 152 pieces to Howard University Gallery of Art, honoring her husband’s academic home for 25 years.


The exhibition was curated and organized by the Howard University Gallery of Art in collaboration with Mrs. Patricia Turner Walters and the Howard University Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center.

Supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Kathryn Coney-Ali and Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet, Co-Executive Directors

Scott Baker, Assistant Director

Abby Eron, Registrar

Greg Jackson, Art Preparator

Kelis George, Jada Brooks, Tarell Essex-Simmons, C’Asia Repass, Olujimi Ojo-Ade, Bryten Gant, Eric January, and Mekbib Gebertsadik, Assistants

Gallery 1: A Cultural Revival

A Cultural Revival

Gallery 2: The Experience: Synthesizing the Past

The Experience: Synthesizing the Past

Gallery 2: Terrestrial Subjectivities

Terrestrial Subjectivities

Gallery 3: Empowered Realities

Empowered Realities

Gallery 3: A Road to Black Lives Matter

A Road to Black Lives Matter

Gallery 3: Temporalities in Abstraction

Temporalities in Abstraction

Black Interests, Politics and Community: Remembering Ronald W. Walters (1938 – 2010)

Black Interests, Politics and Community