ATTENTION: Historic mural by leading Harlem Renaissance artist is danger of being destroyed! Due to a leaking roof, the mural is disengrating and will not survive another winter. Your donation is urgently needed!
In 1942, Aaron Douglas painted a mural on the living room wall in the home of Dr. and Mrs. W.W. Goens in Wilmington, DE. Dr. Goens' wife, Grace, was a cousin of Aaron Douglas, who is considered the foremost artist of the Harlem Renaissance . This mural is the most historic painting by an African American artist in the state of Delaware.
The Afro-American Historical Society of Delaware, a non-profit, 501 C (3) organization, plans to open an African American Art Gallery in this, the former home of Dr. and Mrs. Goens, which would make it the only such venue in Wilmington focusing on African American art/artists. The Douglas mural would be the major attraction of this gallery. The problem is that the roof of the house needs to be repaired in order to preserve the mural.
Efforts to obtain support from local government and foundations have been unsuccessful. It seems ironic that the City of Wilmington donated $100,000 to the Delaware Art Museum to purchase a small study (approximately 16" x 20") of a 1960s mural which Aaron Douglas painted for the Goens in their Hockessin home, but would not support a request to preserve an actual mural (approximately 12' x 8') in their original Wilmington home.
You may draw your own conclusions about why the Mayor of Wilmington deemed it more important to support a metropolitan art organization, while ignoring a Black led organization located in the very neighborhood where the Goens lived, which has been designated an African American Heritage Zone by Wilmington City Council.
- Tracy Williams
- DR. RICHARD ALLEN WILLIAMS
- Roderick Carey
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