Charles White: Drawings was an exhibition that was held at the art galleries of three historically Black colleges and universities:
The Gallery of Art
College of Fine Arts
September 22 - October 25, 1967
(James A. Porter, Director, Gallery of Art)
The Carl Murray Fine Arts Center
Morgan State College
November 1 - November 24, 1967
(James E. Lewis, Director of Art Gallery)
The Art Gallery
(David C. Driskell, Director of Art Gallery)
The above itinerary appeared on the first page of the catalogue.
This catalogue carried on its cover (beneath a reproduction of White's J'Accuse! No. 2, 1966) a reference to the third venue:
The Gallery of Art
Each of the three iterations of this exhibition came with their own catalogues, though it's not clear if these catalogues were published before or after the publication of Images of Dignity, first published by Ward Ritchie Press, Los Angeles, 1967. Both Charles White: Drawings and Charles White: Images of Dignity contained "An Appreciation", by James Porter and "Images of Dignity", by Benjamin Horowitz. Both texts were similar in content (though not in length). In addition to his "Appreciation", Porter also penned a "Foreword" for Charles White: Drawings.
From the "Foreword":
During all of the present century as well as for a part of the Nineteenth century, the role of American colleges and universities in the conservation and interpretation of art has been both active and purposeful. In recent years, however - notably, during the past thirty years, many American universities through their art departments have also demonstrated concern with the training of artists and, in particular, with the encouragement of experimentation in art at a high professional level. In 1945, Charles White was at Howard University as artist-in-residence, undoubtedly, one among the first American artists to be thus employed on a university campus. And it is safe to say, that through such brief associations with the art program at Howard, Charles White's art became more fully known to an interested Washington public.
One of the main texts in this catalogue was, as mentioned, written by veteran historian of African American art, James A Porter. Porter, who was to pass away in 1970, penned a text that was titled "The Art of Charles White: An Appreciation." Porter's text began,
I like to think of Charles White not just as an artist - nor even as an American artist - but as an artist who, more than any other, has found a way of embodying in his art the very texture of Negro experience as found in life in America. Recognizing and seizing upon that which is unique as well as that which is general or universal about the Negro people, he has, as Mr. Belafonte has remarked, spoken in "the poetic beauty of Negro idiom." In any case, White has made his own artistic language a splendid vehicle for that idiom. Charles is an artist steeped in life; and in his informed artistic vision conduces to an understanding of vivid pictorial symbols which, though large as life itself, are together free of false or distorted ideas or shallow and dubious emotion.
There was much in the way of commonality between Porter's two "Appreciation" texts, The same was the case for Benjamin Horowitz's texts. Horowitz, White's dealer, and Director of the Heritage Gallery was, within the catalogue Charles White: Drawings, credited with organising the exhibition, designing the catalogue and assembling the data contained therein.
From Horowitz's text in Charles White: Drawings:
In an era when the artist is expressing his detachment from the human condition by a "cool" and geometric style, Charles White's superb drawings challenge this lack of faith and self-involvement. Their epic quality affirms his deep concern for humanity, his love of man and life, and his belief that brotherhood is not just a catchword. Here. on his canvasses, the vitality and poignancy of humankind are captured for the eye to see and the heart to feel.
...But while insistence on the dignity of the individual and respect for the human being is a universal quality of his art, White is deeply and spiritually a product of his race and environment. A bare 100 years ago his grandfather was a slave in Mississippi, and his mother lived most of her life in the South where little had changed from her father's day.
...There are many collectors of Charles White';s work whose admiration for him is boundless. Here is an art, they say, that has grown out of the gritty seams of life, out of the anger of the dispossessed, out of the dregs of despair. Here is an art, they say, that makes you catch your breath at the strength of life, its beauty, its love. Here is an art that mirrors man's hopes, warms his blood, and makes his heart sing. Here, they say, is a man who is a great artist - an artist who is a great man.
The catalogue contained an abbreviated CV, a list of works in the exhibition (including ten works from White's J'Accuse! series), and a list of lenders to the exhibition.