LifestyleBlack History Month


Southwest Florida man uses art for change

Posted at 12:50 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 10:08:10-05

NAPLES, Fla. — You could easily mistake E.T. Williams' home in Naples for an art gallery. It's filled with paintings and photos - testaments to his work and activism.

Williams has been a change maker from his early school days. But, his current method of making a difference is through investing in African-American art and artists.

"We knew from early on that we were going to collect the black masters", Williams said.

He describes the "Black Master" as Hale Woodruff, Romeo Baearden, Jacob Lawrence, and other influential African-American artist who used their work to tell the narrative of the black community.

Williams bought the work of Hale Woodruff. He gave it to museums - including the Metropolitan Museum and the Schomburg Center for Research & Black Culture.

He says investing in black art and black artists allows him to get their work into museums.

"If they are in museums, you know that they are probably on their way. We are making a lot of progress in the art world."

RELATED: Southwest Florida man witnessed American history in the making