Felrath Hines American, 1913-1993


Felrath Hines (American, 1913–1993), the first African American man to become a professional conservator for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, was born and raised in the segregated Midwest. Leaving their home in the South, Hines's parents migrated to Indianapolis with hopes for a better life. While growing up, Hines was encouraged by his seamstress mother to pursue his early passion for art by taking Saturday classes at Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. He moved to Chicago in 1937, where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago in pursuit of his dreams.


Felrath Hines’s work can be seen at the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among others.

Museums and Public Collections

Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA

Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD

Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC

Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries, Atlanta, GA

Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA

Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL

Crispus Attucks High School Museum, Indianapolis, IN

Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA

Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, AK

David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington DE

Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, MI

Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI

Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN

Hampton University Museum, Hampton, VA

Howard University, Washington, DC

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN

Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, IN

Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

John A. Wilson Building, City Hall Art Collection, Washington, DC

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX

Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC

North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Durham, NC

The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, NH

Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, RI

Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

University Museums, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

University Museum, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Professional Experience

Trustee, Maryland College of Art and Design, Silver Spring, MD, April 1990-January 1991 and October 1992 to October 1993

Chief Conservator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1980-1984

Chief Conservator, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1972-1980

Self-employed, Conservation Laboratory and Studio, New York, NY 1964-1971

Instructor, painting, Art Students League, New York, NY, 1969-1970

Instructor, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 1969-1970

Supervisory Conservator, Fine Arts Conservation Lab, New York, NY,1961-1964

On-call conservator, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, 1962-1972

Conservator to Miss Georgia O'Keeffe, 1967-1979

Many private conservation clients, including major museums and collectors throughout the United States, 1961-1991

Request information

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