curated project commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1968 in dc

dedicated to bobby r. hale
26 jan 1968 & smith-mason gallery

26 jan 1968 & smith-mason gallery

“...the purpose of the gallery is to bring to the community the beauty and joy of Art...”
                                                                                                         Helen Smith Mason

#OTD Friday 26 January 1968, Helen Smith Mason and James Mason, owners of the Smith-Mason Gallery (1207 Rhode Island Avenue, NW), welcomed visitors to their newest art exhibit, "Landscape Scenes." It was their first exhibit of the year. 

The exhibition featured work by local artists, including paintings depicting Haiti, sculpture and color prints reflecting the continent of Africa. The exhibit was open today from 10am-6pm. Most visitors were gallery patrons, neighbors and individuals who read about the exhibition in the Washington Post's Art Notes section. There was a small entrance fee.

Helen Smith Mason, the gallery director, was an artist and a teacher at the Webster School (940 H Street, NW). James Mason was the gallery president and a member of Omega Psi Phi. 

Here's the certificate of occupancy they received on 25 May 1966, which enabled them to operate the gallery on the first floor of their home. The gallery officially opened on 30 April 1967.

mason gallery 1966 occupancy.png

The exhibit opened on 21 January and ran through 31 January. 

Please comment below. Did you visit the Smith-Mason Gallery? Did you exhibit at the Smith-Mason Gallery? Were you one of their neighbors? You may comment privately here.

Photo source: Courtesy Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. n.d.  Photographer unknown. Smith-Mason Gallery Papers
The Smith-Mason Gallery of Art Observes the Sixth Anniversary, 1967-1973, Smith-Mason Gallery Papers, MSRC-HU.
"Today's Events," Washington Post 21 January 1968.


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