Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Produced by:
Paul Hickman  Search this
Subject of:
Samella Sanders Lewis, American, 1924 - 2022  Search this
William Pajaud, American, 1925 - 2015  Search this
John T. Riddle Jr., American, 1933 - 2002  Search this
Owned by:
D.C. Public Library, American, founded 1896  Search this
acetate film
Duration: 28 Minutes
Length (Film): 1000 Feet
sound films
color films (visual works)
short subjects
16mm (photographic film size)
Place used:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
ca. 1965
This film was a part of the Washington D.C. Public Library's circulating 16mm film collection housed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Central Library. The collection is particularly noted for the wide variety of African American and African diaspora content.
A documentary film with the title The Black Artists. It consists of a single reel of color 16mm acetate film with optical sound.
The film opens with artist Samella Sanders Lewis walking on a beach as her own voiceover narration plays in the background. In subsequent scenes, three artists create pieces as they describe their creative process: Samella Lewis opines as she paints an abstract piece in oil; William Pajaud describes finding inspiration in church choirs; John Riddle designs a metal sculpture with a flame torch and other instruments, before describing the process of making finishing touches to his works. The film closes with Riddle stating that whenever he completes a work, it "serves as a steppingstone for the next idea."
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Documentary films  Search this
Film  Search this
Process films  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions likely apply. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
DC Public Library Film Collection
Media Arts-Film and Video
BAM (Black Arts Movement 1965-1976)
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture