Arts and Music

Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell

Lilian Thomas Burwell recounts the life story of her aunt, unsung artist and educator Hilda Wilkinson Brown, and the influence she had on Burwell’s own career as an abstract expressionist artist. Their lives, works of art and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated society where marginalized Black artists created their own venues to exhibit their work.

Summers at Oak Bluffs

1m

During the summer months, Hilda Wilkinson Brown traveled to Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard, one of the few beach destinations where African Americans could vacation during segregation. Her paintings were inspired by the landscape and the beachgoers.

Extras + Features

  • Trailer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer

    S1 E1 - 30s

    Lilian Thomas Burwell recounts the life story of her aunt, unsung artist and educator Hilda Wilkinson Brown, and the influence she had on Burwell’s own career as an abstract expressionist artist. Their lives, works of art and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated society where marginalized Black artists created their own venues to exhibit their work.

  • Painting as Sculpture: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Painting as Sculpture

    S1 E1 - 57s

    Lilian Thomas Burwell creates her "sculptural paintings" by carving out wooden shapes and covering them with painted canvas. Some of her pieces also include thermally curved acrylic.

  • Extended Trailer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Extended Trailer

    S1 E1 - 2m 45s

    Artist Hilda Wilkinson Brown did not live to see the acquisition of several of her paintings by major museums. Her niece, nonagenarian Lilian Thomas Burwell, is experiencing a wave of recognition for her own "sculptural paintings." The story of these two Black women’s interconnected lives, their artwork and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated Washington, D.C.

  • Summers at Oak Bluffs: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Summers at Oak Bluffs

    S1 E1 - 1m

    During the summer months, Hilda Wilkinson Brown traveled to Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard, one of the few beach destinations where African Americans could vacation during segregation. Her paintings were inspired by the landscape and the beachgoers.

Schedule

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