Before earning her BA in art history at Wellesley, Alvia Wardlaw received her diploma from Jack Yates High School in Houston’s historic Third Ward. 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. Currently professor of art history and director/curator of The University Museum at Texas Southern University, Dr. Wardlaw was a Fulbright Fellow in West Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal in 1984.
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The Houston Seminar