(Baltimore, Maryland) – Art Historian, Educator, Artist [inducted 2003]
Leslie King-Hammond was born and grew up in New York. In 1962, she began her collegiate studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. A few years later, after working for General Electric Company and teaching art on the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, she received a scholarship at the City University of New York, where she majored in Fine Arts. She studied with notables and concurrent with her studies, became chair of the Art Department for the Performing Arts Workshops of Queens College. Upon graduation, she was accepted to The Johns Hopkins University Horizon Scholarship to work on her doctoral studies in art history.
While at Johns Hopkins, Ms. King-Hammond taught art history at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. In the summer of 1973. she traveled to Scandinavia to work on her dissertation: The Life and Works of William Henry Johnson. After graduation, she was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies at the Maryland Institute. There, she administers six majors and three degree programs. Concurrent with her administrative responsibilities, she teaches in the Art History Department. In 1985, she won the Trustee Award for Excellence in Teaching. Also during the 1980’s she received Mellon Grants for Faculty Research. In 1985, in response to a decline in students of color at The Institute, the Ford Foundation Fellowships for Minorities in the Visual Arts were initiated and Ms. King-Hammond became its director.
Dr. King-Hammond is an art historian, educator, fiber installation artist. As a artist who works with fibers, her involvement in the arts has been continuous and expansive. Some of her exhibitions and publications include The Intuitive Eye; Art as a Verb; Masters, Mentors and Makers, Masks and Mirrors: African American Art. One of her works, Barbadian Spirits, pays homage to her grandmother. King-Hammond maintains an active profile in the civic and professional arts community. she sits on juries, boards, and art commissions including a position as President of College Art Association; Board of Overseers, Baltimore School for the Arts; Vice President, Jacob Lawrence Catalog Riasonne Project; Trustee, Baltimore Museum of Art and the Advisory Board, Edna Manley School for the Visual Arts, Kingston, Jamaica. She has chaired major conferences.
It is clear that this dynamic artist does not intend to lose momentum. She says “Scientists tell us we only use at best, 10 percent of our brain capacity. I want to exercise a little bit more of that mental muscle and step beyond the typical ten percent.”