A Finding Aid to the Evangeline J. Montgomery Papers, 1928-2018, in the Archives of American Art
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.montevan
Creators:
Montgomery, Evangeline J.
Dates:
1928-2018
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
26.1 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of African American artist, curator, and arts administrator Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery measure 26.1 linear feet and date from 1929-2019. The papers relate to Montgomery's career and involvement in the African American art scene in California and Washington, D.C. The collection includes biographical materials consisting of calendars and appointment books, certificates and awards, records regarding Montgomery's personal art collection, resumes and biographies, and other personal records; correspondence with colleagues and friends such as Benny Andrews, Willis Bing Davis, Edmund Barry Gaither, Eugene Grigsby, Dele Jegede, Samella Lewis, Nzegwu Nkiru, and A.M. Weaver; professional activity files documenting Montgomery's career as a consultant, curator, member, and volunteer for a myriad of organizations including the American Association for State and Local History, National Conference of Artists, and the Oakland Museum; and research files and notes on African and African American arts and history, Black media, Black photographers, the museum profession, and the artists Betye Saar, Lois Mailou Jones, Nike Davies-Okundaye, Romare Bearden, Ruth Waddy, Sam Gilliam, and Sargent Johnson. Also included are files regarding Montgomery's career as an artist containing material on the Brandywine Workshop, interviews with Floyd Coleman and for The Historymakers, sales and consignment records, and other material; printed and documentary material consisting of art reproductions, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and posters regarding Montgomery and other African American artists; artwork by Montgomery, including student sketchbooks, and others; photographic material of Montgomery, friends and colleagues, events, personal snapshots, and works of art; and unidentified audiovisual material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of artist, curator, and arts administrator Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery measure 26.1 linear feet and date from 1929-2019. The papers relate to Montgomery's career and involvement in the African American art scene in California and Washington, D.C. The collection includes biographical materials consisting of calendars and appointment books, certificates and awards, records regarding Montgomery's personal art collection, resumes and biographies, and other personal records; correspondence with colleagues and friends such as Benny Andrews, Willis Bing Davis, Edmund Barry Gaither, Eugene Grigsby, Dele Jegede, Samella Lewis, Nzegwu Nkiru, and A.M. Weaver; professional activity files documenting Montgomery's career as a consultant, curator, member, and volunteer for a myriad of organizations including the American Association for State and Local History, National Conference of Artists, and the Oakland Museum; and research files and notes on African and African American arts and history, Black media, Black photographers, the museum profession, and the artists Betye Saar, Lois Mailou Jones, Nike Davies-Okundaye, Romare Bearden, Ruth Waddy, Sam Gilliam, and Sargent Johnson. Also included are files regarding Montgomery's career as an artist containing material on the Brandywine Workshop, interviews with Floyd Coleman and for The Historymakers, sales and consignment records, and other material; printed and documentary material consisting of art reproductions, clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and posters regarding Montgomery and other African American artists; artwork by Montgomery, including student sketchbooks, and others; photographic material of Montgomery, friends and colleagues, events, personal snapshots, and works of art; and unidentified audiovisual material.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 9 series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1967-2015 (1.0 linear feet; Box 1, OV 27)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1963-2014 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 2-4)
  • Series 3: Professional Activity Files, 1963-2017 (7.6 linear feet; Boxes 4-11)
  • Series 4: Research Files and Notes, 1928-2018 (4.0 linear feet; Boxes 11-16)
  • Series 5: Files Regarding Montgomery's Career as an Artist, 1970-2016 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 16-17)
  • Series 6: Printed and Documentary Materials, 1964-2018 (7.2 linear feet; Boxes 17-23, 26, OVs 27-29, 31-34
  • Series 7: Artwork, circa 1957-2006 (0.2 linear feet; Boxes 23, 26, OV 30)
  • Series 8: Photographic Materials and Moving Images, circa 1965-2017 (3.0 linear feet; Boxes 23-27, OV 27)
  • Series 9: Unidentified Audiovisual Materials, circa 1990s (1 folder; Box 25)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Evangeline "EJ" Montgomery (1930- ) is an African American artist, curator, and arts administrator in California and Washington, D.C.
Montgomery was born in New York and moved to Harlem in New York City after the divorce of her parents, Oliver and Carmelite Thompson. Upon graduating from Seward Park High School in 1951, Montgomery worked painting faces on dolls and statues. In 1955, she married Ulysses "Jim" Montgomery and moved to Los Angeles. In California she began working for jewelry designer Thomas Usher while attending Los Angeles City College. She continued her education at California College of the Arts (California College of Arts and Crafts) where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1969. During the late 1960s, Montgomery began curating exhibitions. From 1971 to 1976, she was curator for Rainbow Sign Gallery in Berkeley. Other roles Montgomery held were as the national exhibits workshop coordinator at the American Association for State and Local History and as program development consultant at the African American Museums Association. From 1976 to 1979, she was art commissioner for the city of San Francisco.
Montgomery moved to Washington, D.C. in 1980 to serve as the community affairs director for Howard University's WHMM-TV station. She then began working for the United States Information Agency (USIA) as a program officer in their Arts America program in the early 1980s. In her role, she worked to promote cross-cultural exchanges through art, specializing in American exhibitions touring abroad. Montgomery retired from the USIA in 2008.
As an artist, Montgomery gained recognition for her work in printmaking and metalworking. She was the recipient of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowship in 2012 and an Excellence in the Arts Award from the Brandywine Print Workshop in 2004. Due to her diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in the 1990s, Montgomery had to stop working with metal but continued her printmaking work.

Administration
Author
Sarah Mundy
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Evangeline J. Montgomery papers were donated in 2019 by Evangeline J. Montgomery, as part of the Archives' African American Collecting Initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Processing Information
The collection was processed, and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2021.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Preferred Citation
Evangeline J. Montgomery papers, 1928-2018. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art museum curators -- Washington (D.C.) Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museum curators -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers -- Washington (D.C.) Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metal-workers -- Washington (D.C.) Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American art museum curators Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black Arts movement Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women museum curators Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women printmakers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metal-workers -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Andrews, Benny, 1930-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saar, Betye Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, Lois Mailou, 1905-1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Waddy, Ruth G. (Ruth Gilliam), 1909-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
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