The Kit Houses of the DC Metro Area

Pictured: A kit house from 1922

For almost a century now, the Washington DC Metro Area has played host to many kit houses of different varieties, from Aladdin to Montgomery Ward- and most prominently: Sears. The houses were simple and modest in nature, meant for the average worker, and shipped by train and wagon in thousands of pieces to the location where they were to be erected. With about 2,000 kit houses in the area constructed over this period, about a quarter of them remain to this day.

Many of the original kit houses stand in historic districts which preserve the houses and prevent them from becoming victim to great changes, practically rendering the homes a living photograph of the ’20s and ’30s. However, some of the kit houses are not located in historic districts and not protected from change- which could lead to an unfortunate demise.

Read on as Audrey Hoffer speaks to the owner of a Washington DC kit house from 1922 in a recent article from The Washington Post by clicking here.

Eldzier Cortor Memorial Service

The Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has announced a memorial service for the late Eldzier Cortor.

Eldzier Cortor was a prominent artist and notable recipient of a Rosenwald Grant.

The service will be held on Monday, December 21st at 3:30 PM at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel. The Chapel is located at 1076 Madison Ave (between 81st and 82nd Streets) in New York City.

Eldzier Cortor

Scheduled speakers include:

Ms. Teresa A. Carbone
Ms. Diane Dinkins Carr, SCAC Board Member
Prof. David C. Driskell
Ms. Corrine Jennings
Dr. and Mrs. Harmon and Harriet Kelley
Mr. Mark Pasquale
Mr. Michael Rosenfeld

Visit the Frank E. Campbell Website here.

Visit the Eldzier Cortor Memorial Page here.

View the Eldzier Cortor obituary at the New York Times here.

The Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is located at
New York, New York 10011.
Visit them online at

Carridder Jones talks about James Taylor

Carridder Jones, author of Voices: From Historical African American Communities near Louisville, Kentucky, recently sat down with Nancy Stearns Theiss of the Courier-Journal to talk about a segment from her book. Carridder, who graduated from the Chaney Grove Rosenwald school, chose to speak about the James Taylor Subdivision.

She tells all about James Taylor’s efforts to create a residence where African Americans could own land and live in modest country homes. He even bought a bus to drive graduates of the Jacob School (the town’s Rosenwald school), to Central High School.

Read the full story at the Courier-Journal, here.

Eldzier Cortor passes away at 99

Painter and printmaker Eldzier Cortor passed away in his son’s home on Long Island last Thursday, November 26, at the age of 99. Born in Richmond, VA and graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, Cortor was a very accomplished artist. His paintings depicting scenes from the lives of African-Americans came at a time when other such works were buried in fringe obscurity, and broke the expectations of mainstream art. Cortor was also the recipient of a Rosenwald grant. His artwork can be seen in museums around the country- including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Read more about his incredible life here.

Cortor was also mentioned in an article featured on the front page of the New York Times that details the recent acquisitions of art from many prominent black artists who were not appreciated, or even acknowledged, in their life times, by many of the country’s museums. The article tells how the new trend is not only intended to over compensate for the vast amount of neglected black artists that helped shape the history of the United States, but also to broaden the narrow view of history painted by museums that depict a male dominated, Eurocentric development of modernism. Among the other black artists mentioned in the article was Jacob Lawrence, who was also the recipient of a Rosenwald grant.