Call for Artists: Portrait of Otelia Cromwell


Call For Artists: Portrait of Otelia Cromwell

First African-American Woman to Receive a Yale PhD

The Yale Women Faculty Forum (WFF) seeks to commission a painted portrait to honor Otelia Cromwell, the first African-American woman to receive a PhD from Yale University (1926). The portrait will be displayed prominently on Yale’s main campus. To view images of Cromwell and learn more about her, see links below. 

All interpretations are welcome, following these guidelines:
  1. Medium: Oil or acrylic paint on canvas
  2. Portrait should depict the likeness of Otelia Cromwell
  3. Rough size range: 25-45 inches by 25-45 inches
Application and Selection Process:

Artists should submit an expression of interest on SlideRoom ( with:

  1. A portfolio of six to ten .jpgs of recent material (last five years)
  2. A short resume
  3. Estimated cost of commission

Deadline for receipt: March 11th, 2017

Three semi-finalists will be notified in late Spring 2017 and will be asked to submit within 3-4 months (1) a detailed sketch of the proposed portrait, (2) written statement describing the proposed portrait (3) full proposed budget. A small honorarium ($1,000) will be provided. Final decision of the Selection Committee is scheduled for Fall, 2017.

Email with questions.

  1. Otelia Cromwell Biography and Bibliography
  2. Photographs of Otelia Cromwell (High resolution images will be available to the semi-finalists or upon request - email 
  3. Short documentary film on the life and legacy of Otelia Cromwell made by Smith College