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re•flec•tion – /ri’flekSHәn/: continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject of a deep and personal nature: “the habit of meditation is the basis of all real knowledge.”

Colley-Lee press photoReflections celebrates the diversity of African American identity; a story of self, place and time, shaped and influenced by people and events of the past. This exhibition is comprised of select works from the private collection of Myrna Colley-Lee, an arts patron and advocate, and includes such noted artists as Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Gwen Knight, Betye Saar, James Van Der Zee, and Eudora Welty.

This presentation includes paintings, collages, photographs, textile pieces and works on paper that provide insight into the lives, traditions and environments of African Americans from the 20th century to the present. You are invited to contemplate the richness of that heritage and culture through this display of diverse and insightful works of art.

The imagery in Reflections focuses primarily on narrative works and landscapes of everyday life, past and present. With this multifarious selection, figurative artworks lead viewers on a journey into memory and beyond. Each piece reveals a portion of the inspiring story of the African diaspora that the entire collection portrays so elegantly.

From a collection that reflects the attitude and eye of an artist and cultural connoisseur, this exhibition reveals that collector’s respect and understanding for the African storytelling tradition—from her contemporary African American viewpoint.

Reflections is organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., in collaboration with Myrna Colley-Lee.



Special Events


Sunday, September 8, 2013 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Gallery of Art 2455 Sixth Street, NW Washington, DC 20059


Monday, September 9, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

A Conversation with the Collector
Myrna Colley-Lee and Gwendolyn H. Everett, Director, Gallery of Art

Sunday, September 29, 2013
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Gallery Talk and Tour

Reflections: Photography in the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection
Maricia Battle, Curator of Photography, Library of Congress

Thursday, October 3, 2013 
12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Gallery Talk and Performance

Reflections: The Delta Blues
Saïs Kamalidiin, Interim Chair, Department of Music

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Gallery Talk and Tour

Reflections: Elizabeth Catlett, Social Commentator
Scott Baker, Assistant Director, Gallery of Art

Howard University Gallery of Art cordially invites you
to the opening reception for