Two Rare Paintings Donated to
Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University will unveil two rare paintings by African American artist Charles Ethan Porter on Tuesday, April 19. The paintings are being donated to SPU by local couple William Sacherek and Liselotte Lamerdin in appreciation of the reconciliation work of SPU’s John Perkins Center. They will join SPU President Dan Martin and Dr. John Perkins at a presentation beginning at 10:15 a.m. at First Free Methodist Church, adjacent to the SPU campus at 3200 3rd Avenue West.

Porter (1847-1923), an artist supported and endorsed by Mark Twain, is considered to be one of the few African American still life painters of the late 19th and early 20th century. Challenged by racism, he worked various jobs and taught painting to pay for his education at the National Academy of Design in New York and several academies in Paris. He returned to the United States and opened several studios, but died in virtual obscurity. A few of his works appear in the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art and other art galleries, but most of his paintings remain out of public view. 

SPU’s John Perkins Center was founded in 2004 in partnership with Dr. John Perkins, one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement and founder of the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation of Jackson, Mississippi. The center is a first of-its-kind partnership among the Perkins Foundation, SPU, and Christian community leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest. The center works toward reconciliation, leadership training, and community development.

This event is free and open to the public.

(Photos of the paintings are available upon request.)

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2016