Lawrence's series "Genesis" (1989) is the visual centerpiece of the show. Each of its eight segments shows a preacher describing the creation of the world as a congregation attends the sermon. With his brilliant sense of color, Lawrence creates variations on a theme that have the fluidity and grace of music.
It's a pity Horace Pippin is not represented, but we will be more than compensated when the Horace Pippin retrospective, "I Tell My Heart," comes to the Baltimore Museum of Art in October.
It would also be nice to have more works by Archibald Motley, that chronicler of mid-century urban life. But he is well-represented by the single painting "The Plotters (1939). His picture of a group of figures clustered around a table captures a slice of life and a sense of close quarters.
Lesser-known artists who weigh in with fine works include Eldzier Cortor, whose "Night Letter" (1938) depicts a moment between adult and child and whose "Composition with Three Women" (about 1950) is a superbly executed drawing. And there's a group of Haitian artists, all but unknown in this country, including Georges Laratte, Wilson Bigaud and Prosper Pierrelouis.
If this isn't a perfect show, there's still more than enough reason to make the trip to Wilmington.
What:"Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art"
Where: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, through May 22
Admission: $5 adults, $3 seniors, $2.50 students, children 6 and under free, free to all from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays
$ Call: (302) 571-9590