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Dana C. Chandler, Jr. papers

Identifier: M156


Dana C. Chandler, Jr., noted African American artist, activist, and educator, was born in Lynn, Mass. in 1941. He was educated in Boston Public Schools, and earned a B.S. in Teacher Education from the Massachusetts College of Art. Chandler participated in the black integrationist movement since his high school years. Chandler joined the black nationalist movement in the 1960s, after witnessing police brutality against a group of peaceful welfare protestors. Chandler has used his art to educate his audience about the history and social conditions of black Americans. His large-scale, boldly-colored paintings and collages depict racial injustice and criticize the commodification of civil rights icons. In recent years, Chandler has lectured about art and activism. In 1970, Chandler was named Boston National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Man of the Year. His art was featured in several national magazines including Encore, Time, Newsweek, and Jet. Chandler was a professor at Simmons College from 1971-2004, where he taught drawing and painting. Frustrated by the lack of quality resources for teaching about black art, Chandler created his own Afrocentric curriculum. In 1973, Chandler's South End studio was ransacked and vandalized. He set up a new studio space in a vacant warehouse building owned by Northeastern University. With the support of future university president Kenneth Ryder, Chandler founded the African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program (AAMARP) in 1974. The program's debut exhibition was held at City Hall, and featured work by Chandler and 12 other artists. Chandler directed AAMARP until 1993, when he resigned after a series of budget cuts. While directing the program, Chandler taught classes at both Simmons College and Northeastern University, lectured at other institutions around the country, and exhibited his work internationally. Chandler has also exhibited under the name Akin Duro. Chandler served as President of the Board of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) from 1977 to 1986. He was involved with METCO from 1974 to1986 as President, Executive Committee member, and METCO parent. In 2009, Chandler is lecturing and blogging about art, race, and culture under the name Akin Duro.


  • Creation: 1973-1991
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1977-1979


Language of Materials

The materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection in unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.


Born in Lynn, MA.
Graduates from Massachusetts College of Art, B.S. in Teacher Education.
Named Boston NAACP's Man of the Year.
Accepts position as associate professor of painting and drawing at Simmons College.
Chandler's South End studio is ransacked. Re-established studio on the Northeastern campus.
Serves on Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) Board of Directors.
The African American Master Artist-in-Residence program is officially established, with Chandler as director.
Serves as President of the Board of METCO.
Directs AAMARP, teaches courses, creates art, exhibits nationally and internationally, and lectures at institutions across the country.
Resigns as director of AAMARP.
Retires from his tenured professorship at Simmons College.
Continues to create art, lecture, and blog.


.50 cubic feet (1 container)

System of Arrangement:

The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was transferred from the African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program.

Related Archival Materials:

Materials relating to Mr. Chandler's professorship at Simmons College can be found at the Simmons College Archives. For more information, go to


  • Biographical info from:
Finding aid for the Dana C. Chandler, Jr. Papers
Finding aid prepared by Cynthia Rufo
January 26, 2009
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US