[Philadelphia]: [The American Exhibiting Artists], . The constitution and by-laws (incomplete) of the American Exhibiting Artists, a group of largely unknown black Philadelphia artists founded in 1963 “to promote art among Colored and all other People in the Greater Philadelphia area.” In the preamble, the group describes its purpose to “stimulate outstanding leadership in two and three dimensional works of art, gain an outlet for these various works of originality, promote the arts, and establish a cultural atmosphere of scope and importance.” There are seven articles
Their first major exhibition, Philadelphia Negro Art: 100 Years Later, was organized to coincide with Negro History Week and took place at the Lee Cultural Center (the group’s headquarters), 43rd & Haverford Ave. on February 7, 1964. Other recorded events included an exhibition of oil paintings in cooperation with the Columbia Ave. Branch of the Free Library Philadelphia from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19, 1964, and a series of events from Feb. to March 1967 that included fine art, poetry, drama, dance, a gallery talk, and jazz, folk, blues, and gospel music. Members included Bernard Harmon, Frederic Bacon, Kenneth Snipes, William Crawford, Turner Battle, Randall Craig, Ernest T. Herbert, Verlie Mason, Eugene Solomon, Elosie Reed, Bernard Thornton, and Robert Gardner. The group appears to have existed until 1967.
Four 11” x 8 ½” sheets stapled twice along the top edge. We’ve had one copy of this document previously, which was described as having “ten leaves,” so it appears that most of the by-laws (besides Section I - Membership and Dues) are missing. Still, any material related to the group is scarce. WorldCat finds one exhibition poster at Temple and a flyer at UPenn and the British Library. Item #11218