Remembering Dr. Maya Angleou

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Remembering Dr. Maya Angleou

Reynolda House was closed to the public on Saturday, June 7, due to Dr. Angelou's memorial service on the campus of Wake Forest University. 

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As our community and nation mourn the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou, Reynolda House Museum of American Art remembers her distinct and irreplaceable impact on the arts here in Winston-Salem. Maya Angelou was seminal figure in early years of Reynolda House as a living museum of American art.

In the 1970s and 80s, prior to and shortly after being named Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University with which the Museum is affiliated, Dr. Angelou generously shared her poetry and writing at  public readings at Reynolda House. She led meaningful conversations and programs in collaboration with notable writers and artists including A.R. Ammons and Romare Bearden. Championing the voice of African-Americans, women, and the American South, her stories will continue to be read, shared, and loved, reverberating through our culture’s identity and deepening what it means to be American. A brief chronology of the ways she shared her life’s work with the local community through Museum programs is below.

Reynolda House, with it collection of fine art and its staff of knowledgeable and gracious docents, is one of the gems in the diadem which is Winston-Salem. -Maya Angelou



1973 Maya Angelou reads her poetry.

1980 [pictured A.R. Ammons and Maya Angelou]

March 1981 Contemporary American Arts Seminar with Maya Angelou, artist Jacob Lawrence, pianist William E. Terry, and flutist Antoinette Handy

October 1981 Reading from Heart of a Woman, her fourth work in an autobiographical series

April 1982 Maya Angelou, author and Reynolds Professor of Humanities at Wake Forest University, reads from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? to a capacity crowd

September 1983 Maya Angelou gives a lecture, “My Grandmothers” in conjunction with Seminar: “When I rise Up: Personal Histories of Southern Black Women”

May 1986 An afternoon with Maya Angelou reading from  All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

October 1992 Book Discussion, Order Out of Chaos: The Autobiographical Works of Maya Angelou led by the author’s close friend, Dolly McPherson



This lady was everywhere.  She visited NCCU while I was a student there in the very late 1970s and left all of us inspired.   And I also had the pleasure of hearing Actor Cecily Tyson at another presentation there and still later on when I was one of the Salem Interpreters who worked at Old Salem.  She remembered the presentation and was impressed with those of us who were students at NCCU at the time.

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