Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Ann Rice O'Hanlon & The Memorial Hall Mural

Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr.

See the source image

Smoking My Pipe by Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr., 1934

Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr. (1907 -1994) is thought to be the first African American artist hired for the Public Works of Art Project. He was born in North Carolina and his family later moved to Philadelphia, PA. He studied at the Pennsylvania Museum and the School of Industrial Art, and received a master of arts equivalent degree from the University of Pennsylvania.. Samuel J. Brown, Jr.'s watercolor painting of So Tired was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. in 1934. As a WPA artist, four of his watercolors were selected to be exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, though the museum was only to select one. In addition to his art, Samuel Joseph Brown, Jr. was a school teacher in the Philadelphia public school system for 30 years.


Nicholson, J. (1994, October 26). Samuel J. Brown, Jr.; an artist and teacher. Retrieved from

Richberg, B. (1994, October 27). Samuel Brown, 87, watercolorist whose work was widely acclaimed. Retrieved from

Sims, L. S. (2003). Challenge of the modern: African-American artists 1925-1945, Volume 1. New York, NY: Studio Museum in Harlem.