Skip to content

Peter Williams in the studio.

For more than 40 years Williams has chronicled current and historical events, interspersing pictorial narratives with personal anecdotes and fictional characters in order to create paintings about the diverse experiences of Black Americans. With boldness and humor, he tackles the darkest of subjects including, but not limited to, police brutality, lynching, slavery, mass incarceration, and other realms of racial oppression. Williams uses cultural criticism to form new creation myths, retelling the history of America from fresh and cosmic perspectives.

Peter Williams lives in Wilmington, DE and is Senior Professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Delaware. He earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His paintings are held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Howard University, Washington DC; Wayne State University, Detroit: Davis Museum at Wellesley College, MA; CCH Pounder Collection, New Orleans; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, MI; The Bunker/Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Palm Beach; Jorge Perez Collection, Miami; Bill and Christy Gautreaux, Kansas City; and the McEvoy Collection, San Francisco, among others.

Black Women of the Black Power Revolution in the 60's

Slideshow Thumbnails Back to Series
Peter Williams Movement Women (Kathleen Cleaver), 2018

Peter Williams
Movement Women (Kathleen Cleaver), 2018
Oil based enamel, glitter and graphite on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Peter Williams Movie Queens, Pam Grier, 2018

Peter Williams
Movie Queens, Pam Grier, 2018
Oil based enamel, glitter and graphite on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Peter Williams Fierce Fighters (Angela Davis), 2018

Peter Williams
Fierce Fighters (Angela Davis), 2018
Oil based enamel, oil and graphite on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Williams writes that "afro's were a way of acknowledging a stolen history and a people from Africa. It was about Black pride and history and a way to acknowledge the discrepancies between white culture and American culture. The three paintings in this series are portraits of Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver and Pam Grier.  Davies and Cleaver were amongst the many women of the movement and their fight for Black Power and respect. Pam Grier, an actress, redefined the image of docile black women and made films that revealed her powerful roles as a dynamic individual fighting crime and the system, with her beautiful body and mind."

Back To Top