Town of Leonardtown Celebrates Black History Month by Honoring Robert H. McNeill

February 14, 2023

The Leonardtown Arts & Entertainment District is proud to announce a special edition of the Leonardtown A&E Artist Spotlight series, a virtual show that highlights significant contributions to art and entertainment in Leonardtown and throughout Southern Maryland, featuring the life and work of renowned American Photographer, Robert H. McNeill.

Mr. McNeill, who was born and raised in Washington, DC, and frequently visited and vacationed with his family in St. Mary’s County, is known for his prolific photography that chronicled the depression era of the 30’s and 40’s. His work captured poignant moments in history depicting social injustice, political movements as well as the amazing culture and undeniable glamor of the period identified as the Harlem Renaissance.

The fascinating two-part episode, partially filmed at and funded in part by the St. Mary’s County Arts Council, focuses on how McNeill became a photojournalist including becoming fascinated with the photography process during a science class at the acclaimed Dunbar High School, receiving work through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Federal Writer’s Project, which was created to provide work for struggling artists during the Great Depression, and how he went on to capture iconic images of notable figures of the depression era.

The St. Mary’s County Arts Council is also hosting an exhibit of Mr. McNeill’s jazz photography in its Gallery & Gift Shop located at 22660 Washington St, Leonardtown, MD. The dynamic show will run throughout the month of February 2023 (the gallery is open on Wednesdays thru Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.).

The Leonardtown A&E Artist Spotlight on Robert H. McNeill will premiere on the Leonardtown Arts & Entertainment Virtual Platform, Leonardtown A&E, on Wednesday, February 15th at 11:00 a.m., and can be viewed at: and at the Town of Leonardtown Facebook Page.

The Leonardtown Arts & Entertainment Artist Spotlight is sponsored by the Commissioners of Leonardtown, the Leonardtown Arts & Entertainment District, the St. Mary’s County Arts Council and the Leonardtown Business Association.

Robert H. McNeill