The Paul R. Jones Initiative fosters educational inquiry, interdisciplinary engagement, and critical thinking with and through African American art at the University of Delaware. Founded in conjunction with the gift of the Paul R. Jones Collection, the Initiative supports a broad range of programming intended to strengthen the collection and its interconnectivity with campus life and community. The Initiative supports faculty and student teaching and research related to the collection and curricular outreach related to American art and culture in dialogue with Africa and its diaspora.
The Paul R. Jones Annual Lecture honors Paul. R. Jones and his gift of African American art to the University of Delaware. Since its arrival at UD, the university has supported a wide range of research and curricular programming using African American art as the seminal point of departure. This includes American art and culture in dialogue with Africa and its Diaspora.
Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and supported by the University Museums, the PRJI centers and foregrounds the arts through its support of interdisciplinary practices. The strength of the initiative derives from its ability to transcend units, departments, individual agencies, and particular agendas.
Distinguished scholars and artists who have served previously in this capacity include:
Gloria Wade Gayles, Richard Long, Rick Powell, Alison Saar, Keith Morrison, David Driskell, Mel Edwards and Jayne Cortez, Sonya Clark and Thomas Allen Harris. The Annual Lecture underscores the relationship and importance of African American art to the broader curriculum, brings attention to African American and African diasporic programming, and showcases an individual whose contributions to the field are exemplary, interdisciplinary, and inspiring.
The Paul R. Jones Initiative is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences.