Lou and Di Stovall Collection consists of fifty-three color progression prints of a landscape that the artist describes as a "perfect world that would be nice to be in so I made [it] from my own thoughts." The prints were part of an exhibition, "Through Their Eyes: The Art of Lou and Di Stovall,” featuring the works of artists Lou and Di Stovall organized by the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum from September 18 – December 18, 1983.
"Through Their Eyes: The Art of Lou and Di Stovall” exhibition comprised of eighty-four works – silkscreen prints, drawings, and acrylic paintings – showing the artists’ progression from posterists to master printmaker and miniaturist, respectively. The artwork was accompanied by an audiovisual presentation on the technique of silkscreen printing and a biographical essay about the artists.
Two related archival collections are available at the Anacostia Community Museum. One contains audiovisual materials created for the exhibition. The other collection consists of records which document the planning, organizing, execution, and promotion of the exhibition. Contact the Archivist for more information.
Lou Stovall was born Luther McKinley Stovall in Athens, Georgia in 1937. When Stovall was four years old, his family moved north to Springfield, Massachusetts to find work. At age of fifteen, he was an apprentice to Al LaPierre in his silkscreen sign shop at the Growers Outlet Super Market.
In 1956, Stovall received a grant and scholarship to attend Rhode Island School of Design. After the first semester, his father became ill so Stovall returned home to support his family for about five or six years. When he returned to school, Stovall attended Howard University, where he received a B.F.A. in 1965. James Lesesne Wells introduced Stovall to silkscreen as a fine art rather than a commercial medium. Stovall also learned about collaboration in printmaking (artist and printer combining ideas and skills to create a work of art) from Wells.
In 1968, Stovall received a grant to buy printmaking equipment. However, he made most of the tools and tables himself creating a full scale printmaking, wood making, and metal workshop in Washington, D.C. Under his direction, Workshop Inc. has grown from a small but active studio primarily concerned with community posters into a professional printmaking outfit. Stovall creates his own original silkscreen prints and is the printmaker of choice for other master artists including Elizabeth Catlett, David C. Driskell, and Sam Gilliam. For each work of art, he finds new and unique ways to replicate as closely as possible a painting supplied by the artist. He has the ability to make the medium do just about anything he and the artist(s) want it to do. Stovall's innovative techniques and distinctive style is credited by artists and critics with helping to transform the concept of silkscreen printmaking from a commercial craft to a true art form.
Di Stovall, also known as Di Bagley Stovall and Di Bagley, was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1947. As a child, she loved collecting small things, animate and inanimate. Stovall studied with Barbara Pound, a painter known for landscapes, oil, and watercolor, throughout her childhood and teenage years. In the late 1960s, Stovall was educated at Columbus College and Bradley Museum, both in Georgia, before moving to Washington, D.C. to attend Corcoran School Art.
Stovall is a noted master of the miniature, creating representational and abstract images painted in absorbing detail. Although she creates drawings, prints, and watercolors, she prefers to work with acrylic on paper to capture the minute detail she seeks. Stovall’s work also includes acrylic paint on glass, hand-crafted jewelry, and wooden cabinetry. Overall, Stovall’s work is colorful, whimsical, and sophisticated. Color is extremely important to her.
Lou and Di met in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s. They married in 1971.
Campello, F. Lennox. 2011. 100 Artists of Washington, D.C. Atglen, Penn: Schiffer Pub.
Fine, Ruth. 2002. "Double vision". International Review of African American Art. 18: 38-42.
Fonvielle-Bontemps, Jacqueline. 1985. Choosing: an exhibit of changing perspectives in modern art and art criticism by Black Americans, 1925-1985. Hampton, Va: Jacqueline Fonvielle-Bontemps.
Hughes, Langston. 2007. Black history. Woodland Hills, CA: St. Clair Vision.
Morrison, Keith. 1985. Art in Washington and its Afro-American presence: 1940-1970. [Washington, D.C.]: Washington Project for the Arts.
St. Clair Vision (Firm). 2007. Black history from civil war through today. Woodland Hills, CA: St. Clair Vision.
Stovall, Lou, and Hakim Bello. 1995. "I create landscapes out of imagination". Glendora Review. 1: 11-14.
Stovall, Lou. 1974. Of the land: a new series of prints by Lou Stovall. Washington, D.C.: Workshop, Inc.
Stovall, Lou. 1983. Through their eyes: the art of Lou and Di Stovall, September 18-December 18, 1983 : an exhibition at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Smithsonian Institution. Washington: Published for the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, by the Smithsonian Institution Press.
Stovall, Lou. 2001. The art of silkscreen printmaking: Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, DC August 18-October 14, 2001.