Samuel Joseph Brown, Self-Portrait (1985)
Brown looks thoughtfully past the viewer as if reflecting on the trajectory of life. He made this print at the Brandywine Workshop and Archives, where he served on the Board of Directors after retiring from Philadelphia’s public school system. Though Brown worked in many different mediums, he began his lifelong engagement with printmaking in the 1930s when he started working in the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Arts Project, a federally sponsored program that provided professional opportunities for artists. He was described repeatedly in the research for our 2015 exhibition, We Speak: Black Artists in Philadelphia, 1920-1970s, as a figure of inspiration and importance.