Delilah Pierce Art Collection & Her Martha’s Vineyard Home Propels Civil Rights Daughter Back From Obscurity
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES: The Spence Family, heirs and executors to the Delilah W. Pierce Art Collection and her Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard cottage, work tirelessly to reclaim her notoriety and respect as an artist, curator, advocate and educator.
After not being included in the roll-out of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and not invited to Smithsonian talks about the Six Masters of Washington, DC, Wanda L. Spence (Great Niece), William A.D. Spence II (Great Nephew) and Stephen R. McDow II (Great-Great Nephew) decided to put their disappointment and confusion into action.
Wanda L. Spence, Great Niece:
"It was strange. I brokered the deal which increased her art pieces in the Smithsonian's Art Collection many years ago - She is already in the eco-system. I am surprised no one reached out or responded to our requests to discuss including her in the fabulous National Museum of African American History & Culture. We're sure they were managing many moving parts; however, someone with her congressional record, advocacy, history as an artist, noted history on Martha's Vineyard, friends with Dorothy West and included in her book The Dorothy West Martha's Vineyard and a native Washingtonian should have been at the top of the list - In our minds as a family."
Ms. Spence, and her brother William Spence, and Stephen McDow collaborated to create her website in order to help the world rediscover Ms. Pierce’s art work, as well as her advocacy, congressional record, art credits, state department work, and more! The family also decided to establish the Delilah & Joseph Pierce House to rent their Oak Bluffs, MA cottage out to individuals and families who respect and enjoy the history of Martha’s Vineyard. Wanda, William, and Stephen, with their individual families, invested time and financial resources into getting the cottage ready for renters. It is a family home that had many personal items that had to be removed. The 5 generational Martha's Vineyard family is managing the cottage with rave reviews!
The hard work paid off. The following Delilah Pierce Credits/Highlights occurred despite COVID-19:
1) UMUC Delilah W. Pierce Exhibit, 2016
2) Chesapeake Collectibles reviews Delilah W. Pierce artwork.
3) Delilah & Joseph Pierce House launched on VRBO with rave reviews
4) Delilah W. Pierce Collection Art On 4 City Tour With Friend Alma Thomas (July 9-Summer 2022)
5) Martha’s Vineyard Museum Features Delilah W. Pierce In Exhibit (August 3rd-Octber 11th 2021)
6) Black Art In America Features Delilah W. Pierce In BAIA
7) And more to come!
Mediel Wallace-Spence is mother and grandmother to Wanda, William, and Stephen. She is also 92 and niece to Delilah W. Pierce. Ms. Spence says:
“This is an exciting time for our family and our legacy! We hope to continue to share Aunt Louis – that’s what we called her – with the entire world. I am blessed to have my children and grandchildren in full support of this effort to re-discover Delilah W. Pierce for the world to love her as much as we did and continue to do.”