Artist Della Brown Taylor Hardman (May 20, 1922-December 13, 2005) was born in Charleston. She was educated at Garnet High School, West Virginia State College (now University), and Boston University. She served for 30 years as an art professor at West Virginia State College. Hardman traveled and studied widely, including at colleges in West Africa and Montreal. She finished her Ph.D. at the age of 72 at Kent State University. Her dissertation was about William Edward Scott, the second black artist to graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago.
Hardman worked in fabric and ceramics. Her work has been exhibited in galleries ranging from the Huntington Galleries (now Huntington Museum of Art) to a showing in West Africa. Hardman is considered one of the most influential female and African-American artists from West Virginia. She later moved to Massachusetts, and was awarded the first Humanitarian Award from the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP for her community service. The Della Brown Taylor Art Gallery in the John W. Davis Fine Arts Building on the campus of West Virginia State University was named in her honor.
Della Brown Taylor Hardman died at Martha’s Vineyard.
Written by D. B. Shawver