Flooded in that illustrious past, young Waring flourished in the exposure to her people's culture and history. She graduated from Hartford High School in 1906 with honors and spent the next six years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1914 and getting a scholarship to study in Europe.
In 1924, she studied Expressionism and the Romantics at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, a popular Paris workshop/studio.
Between 1927 and 1931, Waring's work was displayed at several institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Art Institute of Chicago. Her illustrations depicting African American subjects appeared in several books and magazines.
In 1943, the Harmon Foundation, a New York City organization developed to recognize the achievements of African Americans, commissioned Waring to paint the series Portraits of Outstanding American Citizens of Negro Origin. Among her well-known portrait subjects for this project were W.E.B. DuBois, George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson, and James Weldon Johnson. She is also remembered for her portraits of Anne Washington Derry and a portrait called "Frankie" also known as "Portrait of a Child."
In the late 1920s, she married Walter Waring, a professor at Lincoln University in Philadelphia.
In a time when African American women were a silent force in American arts, Laura Wheeler Waring quietly set standards for dignity in portraiture. In an era when few African-American women attended school, Waring finished high school and college. Also unusual for the time, few who escaped to Europe seldom returned to America, however Waring did return to start an arts department in a traditionally Black college.
Waring made several more trips to study in Europe, but her main focus on returning home in the late 1920s was to make art education available to Black students at the historically Black Cheyney State Teachers College in Pennsylvania, now Cheyney University. In her thirty years there, she organized and directed both music and art departments until her death on February 3, 1948.
One year after her death, the Howard University Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., held an exhibit of her work.
Compiled from http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/laura-waring-portrait-artist-style and http://www.biography.com/articles/Laura-Wheeler-Waring-38504.