Black Femininity through the Dance of Dara Meredith and Modern Art of Eldzier Cortor

Delaware Art Museum announces virtual dance residency inspired by Cortor’s artwork.

On Thursday, February 18, at Noon, Dara Meredith’s virtual dance residency at the Delaware Art Museum will kick off with an Art Chat exploring the painting that inspires her, Southern Souvenir No. II by African American modern artist Eldzier Cortor. Scholar Dr. Tiffany Barber, assistant professor in Africana Studies and Art History at the University of Delaware, and Dara Meredith, artistic director at Eleone Dance Theatre and adjunct professor at Temple University, will explore the images of Black femininity in Cortor’s art and discuss his legacy and influence. Meredith’s residency at the Museum will include a series of talks and workshops and culminate in a dance she will choreograph later this year.

“The work will delve into the idea that Black bodies, and Black women specifically, have been ostracized, dismantled, separated, and abused; all the while being the backbone and the foundation of continuity for American culture,” said Meredith, describing the dance she will choreograph at the Museum. “The work showcases the complexity of what Black women in the south have experienced while having to hold the nation on its breast so that it may live and live on.”

The Art Chat and Meredith’s virtual dance residency will center on Cortor’s artwork, on loan from the Art Bridges Foundation through July 2021 and on display at the Delaware Art Museum.

Modern painter Eldzier Cortor was born in Virginia in 1916, but at just one year old his family moved north to Chicago, along with millions of other African American families during the Great Migration. Cortor later attended the Art Institute of Chicago and gained international recognition for his paintings of Black women.

“The Black Woman represents the Black Race,” Cortor said. “She is the Black Spirit; she conveys a feeling of eternity, and the continuum of life.”

The Art Chat virtual event is free to members and $7 to non-members by registration at

Sponsors: Support provided by Art Bridges. This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.