Hugh Hurd (1925-95), was an actor and civil rights activist in the 1950s and ‘60s. Along with Maya Angelou, Hurd helped to organize one of the first benefits for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in New York City, and he was a co-founder of the Committee for the Employment of Negro Performers in 1962.
...Considering Neel’s unconventional lifestyle, it is perhaps less surprising that she went her own way with her artwork as well. Her portraits are hardly “pretty’;” Neel depicted her subjects with warts, flabby flesh, and all, and used her brush to express the painful inner soul of her sitters as much as their outward appearance. Although she focused on portraits, her work has been described as “expressionistic.” She once stated “I don’t do realism.” Instead, she sought to reveal the psychological state of her subjects, and by association, their world at large. (http://crystalbridges.org/blog/crystal-bridges-announces-alice-neel-acquisition-and-members-preview/)