Marianne Berger Woods swore she would never move West of the Mississippi River again (after having lived in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Kansas) but in 2002 she accepted a one year position in the Art department at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). She has been there ever since except for a Fulbright teaching Fellowship (2009) in Moscow, Russia. Woods is the token Art Historian in her department and teaches everything from cave paintings to twenty-first century art. Her area of expertise is American Art -- especially the work of twentieth century women. She teaches an online course in African American Art and has been interested in the amazing work done by the black population in the United States “against all odds.”

From Harlem to Texas: African American Art and the Murals of Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas paved the way for a greater appreciation of the black arts in many ways. He responded to the call of philosopher/author Alain Locke who advocated that visual artists look to Africa for inspiration. Douglas did this but in his own particular style. He is credited with marrying African themes to a modernist aesthetic combining Art Deco’s geometric sensibility with Cubism and Orphism, and humanism with Christianity. Though he taught at Fisk University from 1937 until he retired in 1966, Douglas is considered by many the “father” of the Harlem Renaissance. Continue reading