Alvia Wardlaw is Curator and Director of the University Museum at Texas Southern University, an institution central to the development of art by African Americans in Houston. She also is a professor of Art History at Texas Southern University. Before earning her BA in art history at Wellesley College, Wardlaw received her diploma from Jack Yates High School in Houston’s historic Third Ward. Dr. Wardlaw was a Fulbright Fellow in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal in 1984. In 1989, Dr. Wardlaw was recognized as one of the leading art historians in the country when she was co-curator with Barry Gaither and Regena Perry of the watershed exhibition Black Art Ancestral Legacy: the African Impulse in African American Art for the Dallas Museum of Art. In 1995, she organized The Art of John Biggers: View from the Upper Room for MFAH. Upon finishing her dissertation on Biggers’ art in 1996, she became the first African American to receive a PhD in art history from UT-Austin. In 2002 Dr. Wardlaw organized the highly acclaimed exhibition The Quilts of Gee’s Bend.
(Fall 2014, Spring 2024)