Illustration and Race: Rethinking the History of Published Images

Symposium Information

Zoom Webinar (online)
Welcome and Opening Program:
Friday, September 23, 2022
7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Symposium Presentations and Panels:
Saturday, September 24, 2022
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rudy Gutierrez - John Coltrane Spirit Flight
Rudy Gutierrez, John Coltrane: Spirit Flight, 2012
Illustration for Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio (Clarion Books)
© Rudy Gutierrez. All rights reserved.


Compelling conversations with illustrators, art directors, authors, and scholars will explore more than three hundred years of racial representation in published art and the role of mass-circulated imagery as a force in shaping public perception about people and groups of people. Presented in conjunction with Imprinted: Illustrating Race, the Museum’s current exhibition, this symposium will spark dialogue about the ways that art, advertising, and systems of publishing have helped to frame public opinion, and how the art of illustration is a force for change today.

Featured speakers include: Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Professor, University of Delaware and Co-Curator of Imprinted: Illustrating Race; Michele Bogart, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Art History and visual culture studies at Stony BrookUniversity Heather Campbell Coyle, Ph.D., Chief Curator and Curator of American Art, Delaware Art Museum; Leonard Davis, designer and collector of Black Americana; Karen Fang, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston; Colette Gaiter, Professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Art & Design at the University of Delaware and author of Emory Douglas and the Black Panther Artists of 1968; Black Panther Artists Emory Douglas, Gayle “Asali” Dickson, and Malik Edwards; Hollis King, artist and former vice-president andcreative director at the Verve Music Group; Theresa Leininger-Miller, Ph.D., Professor of Art History, University of Cincinnati; Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, Professor and Chair of English, Pomona College; Gallerist Leslie Ferrin and ceramicists Elizabeth Alexander, Jacqueline Bishop, Niki Johnson, and Paul Scott; Judy Chartrand, a Manitoba Cree artist; culture journalist and writer Karama Horne and Eisner Award-nominated artist and writer Shawn Martinbrough; and artists Rudy Gutierrez and Gregory Christie.

Join us for all or part of Illustration and Race: Rethinking the History of Published Images

This symposium is generously funded with support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Emory Douglas - Martin Luther King, Jr., 1993

Emory Douglas (b. 1943)
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1993
Cover illustration for the Sun-Reporter, 1993
© 2022 Emory Douglas / Licensed by

Edward V. Brewer (1883-1971)
“His Bodyguard,” Cream of Wheat Advertisement, The Saturday Evening Post, November 19, 1921.
Illustration for Cream of Wheat
Oil on canvas
Collection of Illustrated Gallery

Rudy Gutierrez - Saint Trane, 2012

Rudy Gutierrez
Saint Trane, 2012
Illustration for Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio (Clarion Books)
Acrylic on board, 60 x 40 inches
Collection of the artist
© Rudy Gutierrez. All rights reserved.


June 11 through October 30, 2022

For more information on the Exhibition | Visit:

Biographies – Symposium Speakers

Robyn Phillips-PendletonRobyn Phillips-Pendleton is Professor in the Department of Art and Design, University of Delaware, Newark; Interim Director of the Graduate Illustration Practice Program, MICA; and Co-Curator of Imprinted: Illustrating Race. A practicing illustrator, designer, and educator, she has exhibited her work in national and international exhibitions and is an artist for the United States Air Force Artist Program. Phillips-Pendleton has created illustrations for institutions of higher education, children’s CD covers, editorial magazines, and publishing companies. A member of the Norman Rockwell Museum National Advisory Board for Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, which traveled internationally, she is a member of the Board of Directors of New York’s Society of Illustrators. Her research focuses on the history of illustration and the influence of published imagery on perceptions of race. Phillips-Pendleton’s essay, “Race, Perception, and Responsibility in Illustration,” appears in A Companion to Illustration, and Homework for Breakfast is her most recent illustrated picture book.

StephanieStephanie Haboush Plunkett is Deputy Director/Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum and Co-Curator of Imprinted: Illustrating Race. She is the curator of many Museum and traveling exhibitions relating to the art of illustration, and she leads the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the first scholarly institute devoted to the study of illustration art. “The Shifting Postwar Marketplace: Illustration in the United States and Canada 1940-1970” in History of Illustration, Drawing Lessons from the Famous Artist School: Classic Techniques and Expert Tips from the Golden Age of Illustration, and Norman Rockwell: Drawings, 1911-1976 are her recent publication.

Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptures and installations made from deconstructed domestic materials. She hold degrees in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy, MFA, and Massachusetts College of Art, BFA, where she discovered the complex nature of dissecting objects of nostalgia. Her art has been exhibited nationwide and she is Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


Jacqueline Bishop

Jacqueline Bishop is an accomplished writer, academic, and visual artist with exhibitions in Belgium, Morocco, Italy, Cape Verde, Niger, USA, and Jamaica. Clinical Full Professor at New York University, Bishop has received many awards and honors. Recent ceramic work consists of brightly colored bone China plates used symbolically in Caribbean homes, which explore how these objects hid the violent legacy of slavery and colonialism in the Atlantic world.


Michele Bogart PhD

Michele Bogart, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Art History and visual culture studies at Stony Brook University. Dr. Bogart has published on public art, memorials, animation, landscape and garden history, photography, illustration and advertising, and is author of Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York City, 1890-1930; Artists, Advertising, and the Borders of Art; The Politics of Urban Beauty: New York and Its Art Commission; and Sculpture in Gotham: Art and Urban Renewal in New York. She is a Rockwell Center Fellow and an Imprinted: Illustrating Race advisor.


Heather Campbell Coyle

Heather Campbell Coyle, Ph.D. is Curator of American Art, Delaware Art Museum. She is the editor and lead author of Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered, Fashion, Circus, Spectacle: Photographs by Scott Heiser; and An American Journey: The Art of John Sloan; and co-editor and co-author of John Sloan’s New York. Dr. Coyle lectures on photography, American art, and illustration from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and she is currently working on an exhibition of Jazz Age illustration. She is a Rockwell Center Fellow and an Imprinted: Illustrating Race advisor.


Judy Chartrand

Judy Chartrand is a Manitoba Cree artist, born in Kamloops, BC and was raised in a marginalized neighborhood located in Vancouver’s skid row area in the early 1960s. She is an artist whose work frequently confronts issues of post-colonialism, socio-economic inequity and Indigenous knowledge expressed through the mediums of ceramics, found objects, archival photos and traditional techniques that include beading, tufting and porcupine quilling on hide.


Gregory Christie

Gregory Christie is an award-winning illustrator and lecturer with a long track record of creating inspiring art. An NAACP Image award winner, he was the artist for the United Postal Service’s “Kwanzaa Stamp,” and has created wide-ranging imagery, from John Coltrane album covers to animated films on Netflix. Christie’s lectures on art, diversity and literature and inspires audiences to find a love for books. He has been a guest speaker at conferences and libraries and teaches after school art programs throughout the world.


Leonard Davis

Leonard Davis is a fashion designer, fashion event producer, educator, and Black Americana collector. He earned his Couture Design certificate from L’Ecole de la Chamber Syndicale De La Couture Parisienne in Paris and worked as an apprentice to Jean-Louis Sherrer before returning to New York, where he created designs for Willi Wear. Davis was the first African American designer to head divisions at Adrianna Papell, Josephine Chaus, Inc., and Donnkenny. He has developed private labels at Liz Clairborne, QVC, Essence by Mail, international fashion houses, and such retail stores as Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s. In 1985, Davis began collecting Black Americana and is the author of the Black Americana Price Guide. He teaches courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.


Gayle Assali Dickson

Gayle “Asali” Dickson is an insightful visual storyteller, graphic artist, teacher, and ordained minister. During her late teens and early twenties, Dickson worked for the Black Panther Party, where she was the only female graphic artist for The Black Panther, the Party newspaper, between 1972 and 1974. Incorporating political and social commentary, her artworks focused on the subjects of women and children, capitalism, and urban poverty. After teaching art at the Oakland Community School, Dickson was called to the ministry and served as pastor of the South Berkeley Community Church from 1998 to 2006. Dickson continues to paint and share her experiences as a popular public speaker.


Emory Douglas

Emory Douglas is a noted graphic artist and illustrator. A member of the Black Panther Party from 1967 until it disbanded in the 1980s, he brought his talents to the Black Arts Movement by creating event posters and advertisements, and became the Black Panther Party’s Minister of Culture. A major contributor to The Black Panther newspaper, established a visual language of protest during the Civil Rights movement. He portrayed his subjects with empathy, noting that “art is a powerful tool, a language that can be used to enlighten, inform and guide to action.” Douglas continues his work as a political activist, artist, and speaker, and is soon to be inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.


Malik Edwards

Malik Edwards is an artist who, following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, created artworks for the military. Edwards led the Black Panther chapter in Washington, D.C. before working on layout and design for The Black Panther newspaper in Oakland, CA, which he contributed to from 1970 to 1973. “We knew that people liked to read. But even if they read just our headlines, they got something. Or looked at the artwork on the back, it was a message. A lot of people cut those out and put them on their walls,” he has noted. Today, Edwards is Restorative Practice Coordinator at MetWest High School in Hayward, California.


Karen Fang, Ph.D.

Karen Fang, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston, where she also chairs the Media and Moving Image initiative. A film scholar whose research explores the intersection of eastern and western aesthetics, Fang is the author of Arresting Cinema: Surveillance in Hong Kong Film. She also is a regular contributor to The Engines of Our Ingenuity, a popular public radio series about science and technology, in which Fang’s stories always focus on the visual arts. A Rockwell Center Fellow and an Imprinted: Illustrating Race Advisor, Fang is currently at work on biography of Chinese American artist and illustrator Tyrus Wong, who was instrumental in the production of the beloved Disney classic, Bambi.


Leslie Ferrin

Leslie Ferrin is the director of Ferrin Contemporary (North Adams, MA) and Project Art (Cummington, MA). Specializing in contemporary ceramic art from 1950 to the present, Ferrin is an internationally respected curator focused on ceramics working in support of artists, private collectors, and in partnership with galleries and museums throughout the world. Ferrin organizes and presents solo exhibitions, manages touring creative projects, and develops legacy ceramic collections for sale and gifts on behalf of artists and private collectors. She also directs Project Art, a live/work international ceramic artist residency featuring ongoing, short, and long-term projects based in ceramic art. Ferrin’s collections are featured in Imprinted: Illustrating Race.


William H. Foster III

William H. Foster, III is emeritus Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut. His extensive knowledge of comics has lead him to work with CNN News and National Public Radio as an expert commentator, and he has also been a consultant for the Words and Pictures Museum of Fine Sequential Art in Northampton, Massachusetts, and for the Connecticut Historical Society on projects relating to African Americans in comics and books. Foster compiled his research in the books, Looking for a Face Like Mine and Dreaming of a Face Like Mine. A collector of comic art, he has lectured internationally on the history of comics and representations of race.


Colette Gaiter

Colette Gaiter is an artist and Professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Art & Design at the University of Delaware. Since 2005, she has written about Black Panther artist Emory Douglas’s work, including his current international human rights artist activism. Her essays appear in Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977, Global Maoism, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, among others. The Black Experience in Design includes her essay on evolving visual literacy, and she has written about Afro-Cuban art, design, and culture. Gaiter’s visual work and writing investigate creative activism, and her teaching focuses on the ways that popular culture influences social change.


Rudy Gutierrez

Rudy Gutierrez is an award-winning American illustrator and educator born in the Bronx, NY, of Puerto Rican heritage. A professor of illustration at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he has taught since 1990, he has created artworks for films and performances, U.S. Postage stamps, posters, picture books, and LP / CD covers. His artwork for Santana’s “Shaman” was used as a set design at the 2002 Super Bowl half-time show, and his paintings were commissioned for the film “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.” Featured in many public and private collections, his art is included in those of musical icons Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, and Wayne Shorter. Gutierrez’s work is on view in Imprinted: Illustrating Race, and he and D.K. Dyson are the creators of the exhibition’s soundtrack.


Karama Horne

Karama Horne is a freelance culture journalist and content creator parked at the intersection of geekdom and diversity. Founder of theblerdgurl™ brand, she is recognized throughout genre entertainment as an authority on geekdom, inclusion, and the large often misrepresented niche fandom of Black nerds or #blerds. Horne has been featured in USA Today, The New York Times, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle and Black Enterprise and has bylines at, Rotten Tomatoes, NERDIST, SYFYWIRE and The Wrap. Her work appears in the Dark Horse Comics Anthology “Pros and (Comic) Cons,” Marvel Comics “Marvel’s Voices, “ and “Marvel’s Voices Legacy” and her first novel, “Protectors of Wakanda: A History and Training Manual for the Dora Milaje,” will be published this fall. She is the Co-Curator of The Artists’ Experience: From Batman to Brotherman at the Society of Illustrators.


Niki Johnson

Niki Johnson is an artist, curator and speaker. Raised in New Mexico, Johnson has spent her adult life living across the United States, including five-year stints in San Francisco, California, and Memphis, Tennessee. Johnson has taught at universities and curated local and national exhibitions, and her artwork is in several private and public collections. Reviews of Johnson’s artwork have been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, and Vice Magazine, among other national and international media sources. Her Fitting in the Squares is a self-portrait composed with segments of Norman Rockwell commemorative plates.


Hollis King

Hollis King is an artist and the former vice-president and creative director at the Verve Music Group, the largest jazz record label in the world, where he worked with many noted musicians and illustrators. He has received numerous awards and citations from Communication Arts, How, Print, AIGA, Graphis and the Society of Illustrators, as well as five Grammy nominations. The designer of sets for Public Television and for August Wilson’s American Century Cycle at The Greene Space, NPR, among others, King currently leads his own creative company, sits on the executive board of the Billie Holiday Theater, and lectures at Fashion Institute of Technology, School of Visual Arts, Art Directors Club, and Society of Illustrators. He is the catalogue and graphic designer for Imprinted: Illustrating Race.


Theresa Leininger-Miller, Ph.D.

Theresa Leininger-Miller, Ph.D. is Professor of Art History at University of Cincinnati, where she teaches 19th to 21st century American and European art history. Her publications include New Negro Artists in Paris: African American Painters and Sculptors in the City of Light, 1922-1934; essays in The Routledge Companion to African American Art History, Deborah Grant; Harlem Renaissance; Black Paris; Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris, Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance; Out of Context:  American Artists Abroad; The Modern Woman Revisited: Paris Between the Wars, and Picture Cincinnati in Song; and multiple book and exhibition reviews. Leininger-Miller has lectured widely in the United Stated and abroad. She is a Rockwell Center Fellow and an Advisor for Imprinted: Illustrating Race.


Shawn Martinbrough

Shawn Martinbrough is a gifted comic book and story board artist, and the author of How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling. The creator of art for Batman: Detective Comics, DMZ, Luke Cage Noir, The Black Panther: Man Without Fear, and Hellboy, Martinbrough is also a Vanity Fair contributor, writer of Red Hood for DC Comics, and co-author of Judge Kim and the Kids’ Court, a children’s book series for Simon & Schuster. Martinbrough’s TEDx Talk explores storytelling and themes of inclusion, and he is Co-Curator of The Artists’ Experience: From Batman to Brotherman at the Society of Illustrators.


Paul Scott

Paul Scott is a Cumbrian-based artist with a diverse practice and an international reputation. Creating individual pieces that blur the boundaries between fine art, craft and design, he is well known for research into printed vitreous surfaces, as well as his characteristic blue and white artworks in glazed ceramic. Scott’s artworks can be found in public collections around the globe, and he was Professor of Ceramics at Oslo National Academy of the Arts from 2011 to 2018. His work is currently on view in Imprinted: Illustrating Race, and at the Albany Institute of History and Art and Leslie Ferrin Contemporary.


Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chair of English at Pomona College. For twenty years, she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Sally Mead Hands-Bascom Professor of English. Her research is primarily focused on Black female representation in mid-19th to early 20th century American literature and visual culture.  She is the author of Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literary Culture in the Harlem Renaissance; Dorothy West’s Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color, and editor of A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. Dr. Sherrard-Johnson’s current projects include The Cambridge Companion to the Black Body in American Literature. She is the recipient of many fellowships and awards, and is an Advisor for Imprinted: Illustrating Race.


Symposium Schedule

Welcome and Overview
Illustration and Race: Rethinking the History of Published Images
Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum; Imprinted: Illustrating RaceCo-Curator

7:10p.m. to 7:30p.m.
Opening Comments
Contemporary Paths to History: Reflections on Illustration and Race
Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Professor of Visual Communications, Department of Art and Design, University of Delaware, Newark; Acting Chair of MFA Illustration Practice, MICA; Imprinted: Illustrating Race Co-Curator

Opening Panel: 7:30 p.m. to 8:45p.m.
Panelists: Leslie Ferrin, Elizabeth Alexander, Jacqueline Bishop, Judy Chartrand, Niki Johnson, and Paul Scott.

Hidden in plain sight, illustrations on porcelain and ceramic ware have, throughout history, transformed functional objects into message-bearers for a wide range of political and propagandistic causes, whether exchanged by heads of state or acquired for use or display in domestic settings. Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary will discuss the imagery, drawn from popular nineteenth century prints, that was reproduced on widely distributed ceramics portraying historical events, indigenous people, and notable explorers, inventors, and politicians through a white European lens. The panel will explore how these seemingly ordinary objects, including Rockwell collector plates, have helped to establish firmly held beliefs about American identity. Artists Elizabeth Alexander, Jacqueline Bishop, Judy Chartrand, Niki Johnson, and Paul Scott, will discuss contemporary ceramics, which reject systems of racial oppression and invite reconsideration of the sanitized version of history that was presented for generations.

Session One

A series of compelling talks by Heather Campbell Coyle, Ph.D; Karen Fang, Ph.D; Michele Bogart, Ph.D.; Theresa Leininger-Miller, Ph.D.; and Leonard Davis, followed by conversation with the commentators.

These concise presentations by Imprinted: Illustrating Race catalogue authors and exhibition lenders will focus on widely-circulated historical representations of race in the press and in popular culture that established a sense of American nationalism for white audiences through the subjugation of Indigenous, Black, and Asian people and cultures.

Topics and Speakers

Howard Pyle: Picturing the Black Presence in American History
Heather Campbell Coyle, Ph.D., Chief Curator and Curator of American Art, Delaware Art Museum

Who Has the Right Face for America? Asian and Black Stereotypes from the Nineteenth Century to Today
Karen Fang, Ph.D., Professor, Department of English, University of Houston

Artwork and the Cream of Wheat Campaign, 1895-1930
Michele Bogart, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Art History, SUNY Stony Brook

Are They Equal in the Eyes of the Law? 
Theresa Leininger-Miller, Ph.D., Professor of Art History, University of Cincinnati

Witness to History: Collecting Black Americana
Leonard Davis, designer and collector

Session Two

With Cherene Sherard-Johnson Ph.D., Professor and Chair of English, Pomona College

Illustration was an essential part of the toolkit of artistic activism endorsed and encouraged by the architects of the Harlem Renaissance and executed by a cadre of talented women artists, several of whom worked in multiple media. This revelatory talk focuses on the arresting and influential images created by Black female illustrators during the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1935) and the New Negro movement.

Break: 12:30 pm to 1pm

Session Three

With Colette Gaiter, Professor, Department of Africana Studies and Art & Design, University of Delaware, featuring Black Panther Newspaper artists Emory Douglas, Gayle “Asali” Dickson, and Malik Edwards

The Black Panther newspaper, published by the Black Panther Party in Oakland California almost every week from 1967 to 1980, is an illustrated alternative version of the Civil Rights and subsequent Black Power movements. As photographic media exploded in print and television, the Black Panthers joined the leftist alternative press movement that used relatively inexpensive technology to rock the status quo in texts presented with stunning graphics and illustrations. Colette Gaiter will be joined by noted Black Panther Newspaper artists Emory Douglas, Gayle “Asali” Dickson, and Malik Edwards, who will discuss their experiences as visual commentators for their times.

Session Four

With Karama Horne, Culture Journalist, and Shawn Martinbrough, artist and writer; with an introduction by William H. Foster, III, author, comics historian, and Professor Emeritus, Naugatuck Community College.

William H. Foster, III, Karama Horne, and Shawn Martinbrough will discuss the history and art of some of the top African-American artists working in the comic book industry today. Horne’s and Martinbrough’s exhibition, The Artist’s Experience: From Batman to Brotherman, will be on view at the Society of Illustrators in New York through October 31, 2022.

Session Five

With Hollis King, Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Rudy Gutierrez, and Gregory Christie

Promoting new ideas by creating imagery that celebrates, normalizes, and connects the visual stories of people of color is essential to an inclusive discussion of race. Artist and art director Hollis King will lead a panel of artists, including Rudy Gutierrez, Gregory Christie, and Robyn Phillips Pendleton, in discussion about the power of illustration to inspire change. They will also share their personal experiences in the marketplace and thoughts on expanding access in the field across platforms for working and aspiring illustrators.

Closing Session

With Michele Bogart, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Art History, SUNY Stony Brook

Exhibition Advisor Michele Bogart, Ph.D. will reflect upon noteworthy takeaways from Imprinted: Illustrating Race and highlight revelations that point to new research directions for ongoing study and consideration.

Closing Remarks

Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Co-Curator, Imprinted: Illustrating Race

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