- William N. Buckner
- oil stick on paper
- Frame: 22 1/4 × 12 5/16 × 7/8 in. (56.5 × 31.3 × 2.3 cm)
- In autumnal yellows and reds, William N. Buckner, Jr. (1888-1984) created this expressionist-style portrait of oak leaves on a branch in 1909, a year before he began teaching woodworking at Lincoln Elementary School in Washington, DC. Buckner had developed a passion for art and honed his woodworking expertise at the city’s renowned M Street High School, a public school for African Americans under the District’s segregated system. After graduating in 1907, he studied at Miner Normal School, which trained teachers for the city’s African American schools. He later earned bachelor and master’s degrees, respectively, from Howard and Columbia universities. Buckner served as an educator at Howard and, for forty-seven years, in the District’s public schools, retiring as principal of Armstrong Vocational High School in 1957. Throughout his life, he remained actively involved in the city’s art community and pursued a range of artistic expression, including silversmithing, photography, and puppetry. This painting, created with oil stick on paper, attests to Buckner’s affinity for art and his love of working with his hands.
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