PF Heritage


Members posed beside Christmas Tree, December 31, 1968, Culmer Family Papers, UTA Libraries, Special Collections

Members posed beside Christmas Tree, December 31, 1968, Culmer Family Papers, UTA Libraries, Special Collections

Community and Culture since 1911

The Priscilla Art Club was organized in 1911 as a support system for young, married African-American women. The organization promoted congenial companionship while nurturing community interests. These women were part of the upper class of African-American society in Dallas at the time, but remained conscious of others in disparaging circumstances. The club valued art, craft, and nature because of the beauty it could bring to people's lives. 

The club was organized under the encouragement of Mrs. Mattie Mansfield Chalmers in 1911 and several other founders. Etta Culmer (b.1914) was a member and historian of the Priscilla Art Club until her death.

As one of the oldest clubs in Dallas, this special group of women artists and art lovers continues to outreach to the community and grow in company. 

We are happy to honor the beauty, the inspiration, and the legacy of our Priscilla Art Club
— Shirley Porter Ware, Former President, 2012


The University of Texas at Arlington
Special Collections Library
Culmer Family Papers

Texas Archival Resource Online
UTA Culmer Family Papers Finding Aid

Southern Methodist University
DeGoyler Library
Texas Image Collection-Cook Collection
Graphic History of Negro Dallas Album
ca 1932-1941

Dallas Morning News

Dallas Public Library
Julia Jordan, former Priscilla Art Club Member
Oral History Interview

Dallas History Archives
Vertical Files-Clubs and Organizations

Dallas History Archives
John O. and Ethelyn M. Chisum Collection
Box 4- Folders 17, 18, 19, 20 

In the News

Flash Back Dallas
"Merry Christmas from The Priscilla Art Club 1968"
by Paula Bosse
December 2016

Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"Black Clubwomen and the promotion of the Visual Arts in Early Twentieth-Century Texas"
by Victoria H. Cummins
Vol. 119, No. 1, pgs 1-22
July 2015

Dallas Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists
"Priscilla Art Club Celebrates Black History Month" Press Release
February 2012



The Priscilla Art Club is recognized by the following entities:
Dallas County; Women's Council
South Dallas Business and Professional Women's Club, Inc.
African American Museum at Fair Park Dallas
Texas Woman's University LibrariesTexas Association of Women's Clubs
           formerly Texas Federation of Colored Women's Clubs
Dallas Public Library

PF Heritage Digital Humanities