The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University Presents an Exhibition Celebrating the Life of Della Brown Taylor Hardman (1922-2005)

Contact: Erin Whipple, 617-358-1688 |

Boston – The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University is hosting a new exhibition entitled Della Brown Taylor Hardman: A Legacy of Simple Inspiration. The exhibition features original photographs, correspondence, memorabilia and personal writings documenting the experiences and accomplishments of this artist, educator and community activist. Currently on display on the first floor of Mugar Memorial Library, the exhibition is free and open to the public during regular library hours through May 31.

Della Louise Brown Taylor Hardman was raised in Charleston, West Virginia. The granddaughter of slaves, she graduated from West Virginia State University in 1943 with a degree in education. In 1945, she received a master’s degree in Art from Boston University and in 1994, at age 72, received her Ph.D. from Kent State University. Dr. Hardman was an associate professor of art at West Virginia State University for 30 years and during that time she hosted “The Black Experience” radio show, served as a chairperson of the board of trustees of the Charleston Art Gallery, and the National Art Education Association recognized her as an Outstanding Art Educator.

In 1986, Dr. Hardman moved to Martha’s Vineyard where she was a well-known, active and dedicated community member. In addition to being involved in the Nathan Mayhew Seminar, the Oak Bluffs library, Vineyard Nursing Association and the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, she succeeded the late Harlem Renaissance author Dorothy West as author of the “Oak Bluffs” column for the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. Examples of her column, which became a must-read for the island’s African-American community, as well as her own poetry, are on display. The exhibition also highlights her ongoing interest in prominent Vineyard visitors, including President Bill Clinton, which is documented through photographs and correspondence, as well as Senator Barack Obama, whose book, Dreams from My Father, inscribed to Dr. Hardman, is on view for visitors.

The mission of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center is to capture and document history by collecting the manuscripts from individuals who play a significant part in the fields of journalism, poetry, literature and criticism, dance, music, theater, film, television and political as well as religious movements. The Center strives to preserve the documents and make them readily available to researchers while administering all legal copyrights and restrictions. Researchers from all over the world are welcomed and the Center presents extensive exhibitions, seminars and tours for students, parents and alumni as well as various visiting groups. For more information, visit, call 617-353-3696 or email