The Artist Birthday Series

Hilda Wilkinson Brown

Today’s Artist Birthday: Hilda Wilkinson Brown

Hilda Wilkinson Brown (July 23, 1894 – July 13, 1981) was a painter and educator from Washington, DC. She was also one of the first African American female painters to achieve popular success.

"Third And Rhode Island," c. 1935, Washington, DC
“Third And Rhode Island,” c. 1935, Washington, DC

Mrs. Brown, who was born in Washington, graduated from the old M Street High School. She graduated from Miner Normal and later earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Howard University and a master’s degree at Columbia University. She also held degrees from the National Academy of Design and the Cooper Union School of Art. She attended the Art Students League in New York.

"Young Man Studying (Portrait of Langston Hughes)," 1932
“Young Man Studying (Portrait of Langston Hughes),” 1932 – Now at the museum at Howard University in Washington, DC

She began her career at Miner Normal in 1923, teaching fine arts and art history. She later became chairman of its art department. Miner and Wilson Teachers College were merged to form D.C. Teachers College and Mrs. Brown was an assistant professor there at the time of her retirement in 1961. D.C. Teachers College now is part of the University of the District of Columbia.

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