Works in the Collection
Beulah Ecton Woodard spent her early years in Frankfort, Ohio, where, at the age of 12, the fateful visit of an African national sparked her lifelong fascination with African cultures. After relocating to Vernon, CA, Woodard attended high school at the Polytechnic High School, where she began her study of sculpture. Woodard supplemented her art education with courses at Los Angeles Art School, the Otis Art Institute, and the University of Southern California. Woodard worked in a variety of sculptural media including terracotta, wood, bronze, and papier-mâché. Throughout her career she sculpted African American and African subjects and was often inspired to recreate the hairstyles and adornments of the Ekoi, Hemba, Luba, and Mangbetu cultures of Africa. By 1935, Woodard was the first African American to exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum. She was a popular lecturer at many educational institutions, and was an integral organizer of the Los Angeles Negro Art Association and the Eleven Associated Artist Gallery. The artist passed in 1955.