Works in the Collection
Avel de Knight was born in 1923 in New York City to parents who had immigrated to the U.S. from Barbados and Puerto Rico. De Knight studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1941 to 1942, and in 1943, he joined the U. S. Army, serving in a segregated unit until the end of WWII. In 1946 de Knight traveled to Paris where he joined the many other African American artists living and working in the city, such artists as Herb Gentry, Romare Bearden, Beauford Delaney, and Ed Clark. While in France, de Knight used the G. I. Bill to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and the Académie Julian.
In 1953 he participated in his first group exhibition at the Village Art Center in New York City and was awarded the Village Art Center Prize. Today his work can be found in the collections of The Schomberg Center, The Chrysler Museum of Art, Lehigh University Art Galleries, The Springfield Art Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.