Humbert Howard was born in Philadelphia in 1915. He began his studies at Howard University and transferred his senior year to the University of Pennsylvania. He later studied at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, and at the International Academy of Arts and Letters in Rome, where he was awarded an honorary degree.
During the 1930’s, Howard participated in the Philadelphia Work Progress Administration’s Art project. While there, he painted a landscape that was one of the two selected for the exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. He exhibited extensively, showing at: the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1950, 1952, and 1953, with a one-man show in 1951; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1954; the Philadelphia Art Alliance, 1958 (one-man); the Philadelphia Sketch Club; the Philadelphia Pyramid Club (one-man); Temple University; the Free Public Library of Philadelphia; Howard University (one-man); the William Penn Memorial Museum, 1970 and 1977; and the International Academy of Arts and Letters in 1970, where he won a Silver Medal.
In 1940, Howard became Director of the Pyramid Club, a prominent African-American cultural center in Philadelphia. He was also a member of: the Artists Equity Association, the Peale Club, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Fine Arts. He also taught painting at the Allen’s Lane Art Center in Philadelphia.
The artist’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including: the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and Howard University.
The artist died in 1990.
A retrospective exhibition in honor of Humbert Howard’s work was held in 1966 at the Levy Gallery of Arts at the Moore College of Art, Philadelphia.