A 2007 MacArthur Fellow, Whitfield Lovell creates drawings and installations that feature portraits of anonymous African Americans, from the Emancipation Proclamation through the Civil Rights Movement, sourced from his personal archive of vintage black-and-white photographs. The addition of found objects to the portraits, ranging from cards and clocks to musical instruments, evokes the subjects' untold stories and the collective American identity. More recently Lovell has drawn from contemporary sources, but his work continues to illicit strong psychological and social resonances founded in history and memory.
The Adderley Lecture series, which is held each semester, recognizes the achievements of distinguished artists, art historians, writers, and social justice advocates from underrepresented groups and was established in 1995 in memory of MassArt painting student Tyrone Maurice Adderley. Past Adderley lecturers have included Wangechi Mutu, Alison Saar, Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, Cornelius Eady, Chakaia Booker, Melvin Edwards, Fred Wilson, and Lorraine O'Grady, among others.