20 Facts About Mildred Howard


Mildred Howard was born on 1945 and is an African-American artist known primarily for her sculptural installation and mixed-media assemblages.


Mildred Howard's work has been shown at galleries in Boston, Los Angeles and New York, internationally at venues in Berlin, Cairo, London, Paris, and Venice, and at institutions including the Oakland Museum of California, the de Young Museum, SFMOMA, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Museum of the African Diaspora.


Mildred Howard was born in 1945 to Rolly and Mable Mildred Howard in San Francisco, California, and raised in South Berkeley, California.


Mildred Howard's parents had an antiques business and were politically active in labor unions, civil rights struggles and other community issues.


Mildred Howard was a member of SNCC and CORE and participated as a youth in protests against segregation in Berkeley schools.


Mildred Howard received an Associate of Arts degree and Certificate in Fashion Arts from the College of Alameda in 1977.


Mildred Howard began her adult creative life as a dancer, before working in visual art.


For example, in 1990 Mildred Howard created a house made of engraved bottles and sand in the atrium of the Afro-American Museum in Los Angeles; this work was inspired by the book Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson and makes visual reference to the bottle houses that Johnson describes in the book.


Mildred Howard has created numerous public installation works in the Bay Area, including Three Shades of Blue, a collaboration with poet Quincy Troupe on the Fillmore Street bridge, and The Music of Language on Glide Memorial's family housing building on Mason Street, both in San Francisco.


Mildred Howard's work has long dealt with themes of home and belonging.


Mildred Howard is not shy about incorporating activism or politics into her work, though she is conscious of the divide between art and activism.


In 1991, Mildred Howard received the Adaline Kent Award from the San Francisco Art Institute for her installation Ten Little Children, a work representing a cemetery inspired by the Soweto massacre.


Mildred Howard has been the recipient of two Rockefeller Fellowships to Bellagio, Italy ; the Joan Mitchell Award; an NEA Fellowship in Sculpture; and the Flintridge Foundation Award for Visual Art.


In 2012, Mildred Howard received a SPUR Award, described as San Francisco's "largest and most prominent annual civic award", from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.


In May 2023, Mildred Howard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by California State University, East Bay.


Mildred Howard has managed an art and communities program at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California, where she developed curriculum aimed at integrating art and science for elementary and middle school teachers.


Mildred Howard has worked at Alameda County Juvenile Hall and in various Bay Area jails, and has served as a cultural ambassador to Morocco, where she gave a series of lectures sponsored by the US State Department.


Mildred Howard has taught at Stanford and Brown Universities, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California College of the Arts.


Mildred Howard takes full advantage of the latitude that modernism won for artists in the use of materials and expressive idioms.


Mildred Howard has used photographs, glass, architecture, housewares and other found objects of all kinds.