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Oral history interview with Avel De Knight, 1968 July 22

De Knight, Avel C., 1923-1995

Painter, Art critic


Collection Information

Size: 43 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 49 min.

Summary: An interview of Avel De Knight conducted 1968, by Henri Ghent, for the Archives of American Art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Avel C. de Knight (1921-1995) was an African American painter, educator, and art critic. His birth dates are also cited as 1923, 1925, 1931, and 1933. Born in New York to parents from Barbados and Puerto Rico, he attended Pratt Institute before serving in a segregated United States Army unit in World War II. After the war, he studied at the École de Beaux-Arts, the Grand Chaumière, and the Académie Julian in Paris under the G.I. Bill. He returned to the United States in 1956 and in 1957 began reviewing New York exhibitions for France-Amérique . He also taught at the Art Students League and later at the National Academy School of Fine Arts. De Knight was an Academician of the National Academy of Design and his works are held in collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the University of Richmond Museums.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Avel De Knight, 1968 July 22. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.