Dear Howard University Community,
I am pleased to announce Patricia Walters, the wife of legendary scholar and activist Ronald W. Walters, Ph.D., has gifted Howard University her coveted collection of African American art, valued at more than $2.5 million. Additionally, the University will establish the first Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics to continue Dr. Walters’ legacy and expand the University’s capacity as a leader in emerging scholarship in Black politics.
Dr. Ronald Walters was recognized as a leading political strategist and expert on issues affecting the African diaspora. A dedicated leader, Walters served as a professor in Howard University’s Department of Political Science for 25 years and was department chair for nearly a decade. It is an incredible honor to receive this generous gift of precious art from the Walters family. This collection of sculptures and portraits and paintings will be an excellent complement to our gallery and a beneficial focus of training in our art history courses.
The endowed chair will be housed in the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University. It is intended to spur interdisciplinary collaborations across the University on critical issues of race and Black politics, especially those issues that affect Americans of the African diaspora.
Dr. Walters was a giant among scholars at Howard University, nationally and internationally. This endowed chair is designed to be a reflection of his unique history as an activist, a political strategist, and a trailblazing academic professor. This gift comes at the perfect moment to expand our student’s involvement in the political conversations of our time.
The Walters’ gift of art includes 152 pieces of African American art of various forms. The collection includes original pieces, sculptures, rare prints, photographs, and pieces from notable eras, including the Harlem Renaissance. Mrs. Walters began her collection in the late 1980’s, amassing most of her pieces after 2002. It features artists like Robert S. Duncanson, Edward M. Bannister, Grafton Tyler Brown, Aaron Douglas, and Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden, as well as contemporary artists like Kehinde Wiley, Barkley Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall and others.
More information about the art collection and endowed chair will be available during the spring semester. For more information about Dr. Ronald W. Walters, visit the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center website.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA