Danforth Art is proud to be the caretaker of the Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller Special Collection. This collection consists of ephemera, process pieces, studies, and other objects of art that expand upon some of the better-known aspects of Fuller’s oeuvre. The collection spans seventy years of creative output from Fuller’s early works in Paris, to her role as a precursor to and in the Harlem Renaissance, to her late works celebrating members of the African-American intelligentsia. Danforth Art is committed to the stewardship, exploration, and exhibition of this important collection.
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) is known for her groundbreaking depictions of the African and African-American experience. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, she created intimate portraits of friends and family and self-portraits that elevated the African-American visage to an artistic subject equally worthy of depiction. Anticipating themes of the Harlem Renaissance, Fuller also used the figure as a metaphoric representation of popular music, and to represent broad themes as African-American artists and intelligentsia sought to formulate and celebrate an African-American cultural identity and express racial experience and social issues in America. Works such as the Study for Ethiopia Awakening and Study for the Spirit of Emancipation celebrate African heritage while expressing aspirations for the future.
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) is one of the first African-American female sculptors of importance. Fuller was born and raised in Philadelphia, and trained at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now the University of the Arts). Upon graduation in 1899, she moved to Paris, where she studied with a number of artists, and gained the friendship of prominent mentors like intellectual leader W.E.B. DuBois and French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Fuller returned to the United States in 1902. Seven years later, she married Dr. Solomon Fuller, the first psychiatrist of African descent to practice in the United States. The couple settled in Framingham, where Fuller lived until her death in 1968.