After his passing in 1979, Charles White’s reputation as an artist continued to increase, garnering more and more adulation. To this end, one of the first substantial posthumous overviews of his work was Images of Dignity: A Retrospective of the Works of Charles White. The exhibition was held at the Studio Museum in Harlem, June 20 - August 31, 1982. The exhibition's title had, in large part, been borrowed from the celebrated monograph, published in several editions by Ward Ritchie Press, Los Angeles, 1967. 121pp, 95 b&w illustrations.
From the Foreword, by Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Executive Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem: "Charles White was an artist who cared about his people and his art. His images - epic in their depiction of Black life, masterful in technique - were always accessible to his audience, always communal. The Studio Museum in Harlem has assembled White's oils, temperas, watercolors, drawings and prints for the exhibition, Images of Dignity: A Retrospective of the Works of Charles White. The third in Studio Museum's Black Masters' Series, the exhibition clearly demonstrates White's ability to portray, in his words, "love, hope, courage, freedom, dignity - the full gamut of the human spirit," and to portray those highly abstract qualities within the very specific context of Black people, "their history, their culture, their struggle to survive."" Schmidt Campbell's Foreword continued, "Divided into three sections - from the WPA to the Taller de Grafica (1935 to 1947); the transition to an African-inspired realism (1950 to 1963), and his mature works executed in the language of myth (1963 to 1979) - the exhibition traces the evolution of White's increasingly complex use of graphic mediums as well as his increasingly subtle treatment of the human figure."
The catalogue's most substantial text was "Charles White: A Critical Perspective" by Dr. Peter Clothier. Full catalogue contents as follows:
Foreword - Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell
Lenders to the Exhibition
Charles White: A Critical Perspective - Dr. Peter Clothier
Bibliography - Earnest Kaiser and Benjamin Horowitz
Chronology - Kellie Jones
Catalogue of the Exhibition
Images of Dignity: A Retrospective of the Works of Charles White carried on its cover a reproduction of The Prophet, 1975-1976, 27" x 36.5". [At the time of its making, The Prophet had marked a new departure for White, in that it was a move away from the weighty social realism of his monochrome drawings.]
Images of Dignity: A Retrospective of the Works of Charles White was extensively illustrated, with both monochrome and colour reproductions of White's work.