Long Island University C.W. Post Campus
C.W. Post Campus B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library

African Americans in the Visual Arts
A Historical Perspective

Summary
Introduction
Acknowledgements
African Influences
The Harlem Renaissance
The Works Progress Administration
Changing Times
Museums and Associations
The African Mask
Oba Mask, Nigeria
The Banjo Lesson
The Snow Cone Man
The Harmon Foundation
Notable Artists
Charles H. Alston
Edward M. Bannister
Richmond Barthe
Romare Bearden
John T. Biggers
Selma Burke
Elizabeth Catlett
Eldzier Cortor
Allan Rohan Crite
Beauford Delaney
Joseph Delaney
Aaron Douglas
David C. Driskell
Robert Scott Duncanson
Isaac Scott Hathaway
Joshua Johnston
Jacob Lawrence
Edmonia Lewis
Alain Leroy Locke
Scipio Moorhead
Horace Pippin
Ellis Ruley
Floyd Sapp
Henry Ossawa Tanner
For Further Reading


SUMMARY

This exhibit tells the story of the African-American artists' quest for creative recognition in their chosen art forms. The story follows these artists via their early exposure to European art and genre paintings and respectfully following these rules in their learned crafts. Later, there is a fusion shown, using the European, African, and American cultural context in these artists' works. The exhibit is a visual presentation, along with historical text covering the early and recent achievements of these artists involved in the Visual Arts.

Over 60 personalities are on display with biographical facts and information. Many examples of their creations are also represented. Included are: painters, sculptors, muralists, engravers, portraitists, print makers, illustrators, photographers, woodcut printers, lithographers, folk artists, and cartoonists. Books, pictures, photos, magazines, museum catalogs, visual crafts, [etc.] are on display. Library resources and established museums as focal reference art centers are included to enhance the viewers scope in seeking additional information on this subject. A bibliography is available upon request.

The exhibit will be on view from February through April 1996, in the main lobby of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library.

Study Web Academic Excellence Award

Prof. Melvin R. Sylvester
Library Periodicals Department
Long Island University
C. W. Post Campus


INTRODUCTION

When we look at the early identification of African-Americans involved in the Visual Arts, we see a small cadre of artists closely aligned to the production of works in the strict tradition of European or English classicism. The rules were clearly defined for the artists, and cultural expression was not the acceptable standard for visual creations produced by early African-American artists. Those few African-Americans had to sublimate their expression and stick closely to what was defined as art. Therefore, it was not a surprise to see the first African-American artists defined as slave artisans with skills as iron workers, cabinet makers, quiltmakers, even silversmiths and stoneware vessel makers. The majority of these artists were using their Afrocentric talents for creating useful items needed by their masters or for their own households when allowed. The African-Americans' talents as visual artists were later identified as painters of white families' portraits and, in rare cases, portrait painters of well-to-do "free persons of color."

These early American African-American artists enjoyed a degree of status, and many bought their freedom using their artistic talents as acceptable barter. Having a marketable and acceptable skill pleased the white clientele and provided a living for the early African-American visual artists.

SCIPIO MOORHEAD of Boston, G.W. HOBBS of Baltimore, JOSHUA JOHNSTON of Baltimore, JULIEN HUDSON of New Orleans, ROBERT M. DOUGLASS JR. of Philadelphia, PATRICK HENRY REASON of Philadelphia, and WILLIAM SIMPSON of Boston were among the early identifiable portraitists of prominent black and white subjects from 1773 until 1887.

Being a visual artist required talent, but, for the African-American artists, talent was not enough. This was nineteenth century America, and race determined who could be trained in the arts. There were no special schools or places where African-Americans could freely exhibit their talents for art. These talented artists were excluded from the academies, associations, and teaching institutions available to white artists. In rare cases, beneficent white families broke the rules and provided knowledge, direction, and resources to budding African-American talents in the visual arts. Many of these white patrons were among the abolitionists of this period in American history.

After the Civil War, a host of African-American visual artists started to be recognized. From 1865 to the start of the 1920's, most of these artists produced works which could be acceptable to museums, patrons, or local salons or studios. They therefore created paintings, drawings, and sculptures in the classical and romantic traditions of scenes depicting nature, history, familiar places, distinguished personalities, and prominent families of wealth. The art world of this period was narrow, and African-American artists had to compete for recognition and earnings from pieces of art requested by their commissioners or patrons. Therefore, African-American artists such as EDWARD MITCHELL BANNISTER, GRAFTON TYLER BROWN, NELSON A. PRIMUS, EDMONIA LEWIS, HENRY OSSAWA TANNER, and META VAUX WARRICK FULLER had to produce pieces of art appealing to the judges of that art. For the most part, these African-Americans were seeking recognition and a place in the international world of art. Certain American cities began to produce recognizable talents. Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Providence, New York, Hartford, and New Orleans were among the growing places where African-Americans could receive training -- but within the limits of what was acceptable as worthy of distinction in a market dominated by European influences.

Most African-American artists could not afford to release their creative energy in the direction of purely social protest art or expressive impressionistic moods in art. African-American artists seeking this freedom of expression later discovered that Rome, Munich, and especially Paris were places where they could find new vistas of respect as just artists, who happen to be African-Americans. PARIS was THE PLACE for learning, observing, and experimenting with their talents and theories of Art. Europe was no longer remote but a place of longing for all African-American artists.


THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE

Even though the African-American artists were gaining respect in Europe, they also longed for a better connection to their works and experiences as American artists. That break came in the early 1920's. The movement was called the NEGRO or HARLEM RENAISSANCE. This resurgence of literature, knowledge, and the arts coming out of New York was powerful. A fertile and acceptable door had been opened to African-American musicians, writers, poets, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and VISUAL ARTISTS. The opportunity was now available to grow and show off their best talents. From 1919 to about 1929, HARLEM, NEW YORK became the capitol of cultural activity for African-Americans. This period in American history was extremely uplifting to African-Americans as a people. Personalities and individuals connected their expressions in writings, music, and visual artworks as they related to the political, social, and economic conditions of being black in America.

Among the surfacing notables were:

  • W.E.B. DUBOIS (education, literature)
  • CLAUDE MCKAY (literature)
  • JEAN TOOMER (literature)
  • META VAUX WARRICK FULLER (art)
  • LOUIS ARMSTRONG (music)
  • DUKE ELLINGTON (music)
  • ETHEL WATERS (theatre)
  • NOBLE SISSLE (music)
  • EUBIE BLAKE (music)
  • PAUL ROBESON (theatre)
  • MARIAN ANDERSON (music)
  • BESSIE SMITH (music)
  • ROLAND HAYES (music)
  • ZORA NEALE HURSTON (literature)
  • JAMES VAN DER ZEE (art)
  • CARL VAN VECHTEN (art)
  • LANGSTON HUGHES (literature)
  • AARON DOUGLAS (art)
  • MARCUS GARVEY (activism, education)
  • PALMER HAYDEN (art)
  • COUNTEE CULLEN (literature)
  • FATS WALLER (music)
  • RICHMOND BARTHE (art)
  • DOROTHY WEST (literature)
  • WALLACE THURMAN (literature)
  • ARCHIBALD MOTLEY, JR. (art)
  • WILLIAM H. JOHNSON (art)
  • HALE WOODRUFF (art)
  • SARGENT C. JOHNSON (art)
  • JAMES WELDON JOHNSON (education, literature, activism)
  • W.C. HANDY (music)
  • MALVIN GRAY JOHNSON (art)
  • STERLING A. BROWN (author, poet, teacher)
  • NELLA LARSEN (nurse, librarian, author, Harmon Foundation medalist, and first African American woman Guggenheim Fellow)
  • FAUSET, JESSIE REDMON (literature, first African American woman elected to Phi Beta Kappa, leader among the literate during the Harlem Renaissance)
  • CHARLES SPURGEON JOHNSON (sociologist, editor of Opportunity magazine, and research director for the National Urban League)
  • and foremost among them, DR. ALAIN LEROY LOCKE (education, philosophy)

These names became synonymous with African-American creativity, but Dr. Locke, a Philadelphia native and magna cum laude graduate of Harvard in 1907, was the driving force behind the artists of this era. He was a PHI BETA KAPPA member and the first African-American RHODES SCHOLAR. He studied GREEK and PHILOSOPHY at Oxford in England from 1907-1910 and continued as a scholar at the University of Berlin from 1910-1911. He received his Ph.D from HARVARD in 1918. He was on the faculty of HOWARD UNIVERSITY in WASHINGTON D.C. from 1912-1953. From his travels and studies, Dr. Locke gained a broader view of African culture. This view helped him in becoming the spokesperson behind the acceptance of African-Americans as creative artists. He was an advocate and explainer of African-American culture. His 1925 book entitled, THE NEW NEGRO, was written with the intention of broadening our knowledge and understanding of the works involving African-American poets, writers, dramatists, musicians, and visual artists. He later published, in 1940, THE NEGRO IN ART, which was aimed at identifying the artistic genius of an array of African-American visual artists, including the wide-spread depiction of blacks in countless other works in the Art world.

By 1926, another stage in the developmental history of African-American visual artists came about. It was the establishment of the HARMON FOUNDATION. The Harmon Foundation became an anchor for promoting the works of African-American artists. WILLIAM E. HARMON, a real estate magnate, became the chief philanthropist and patron in the support of African-American artists and culture. Harmon's interest in African-American artists reflected "his interest in promoting justice and social commitment." The "deprivation of black Americans, he reasoned, was a national problem, not simply a burden on blacks alone." The HARMON FOUNDATION existed from 1922 to the end of 1967. It was an extremely vital organization for keeping the African-American artists working, learning, and creating expressions in the VISUAL ARTS. The Harmon Foundation's financial awards and exhibitions helped to encourage the perpetuation and acceptance of African-American pieces of art by wider audiences across the United States.


THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

The GREAT DEPRESSION OF 1929 brought to the ARTS a slow demise of artistic backings such as the HARMON FOUNDATION. Even though the FOUNDATION ended its support in 1967, the important Annual Awards Competition ended earlier in 1933. Visual artists such as SELMA BURKE, AUGUSTA SAVAGE, JOSEPH DELANEY, ROMARE BEARDEN, BEAUFORD DELANEY, LOIS MAILOU JONES, HORACE PIPPIN, ALAN ROHAN CRITE, JACOB LAWRENCE, ELDZIER CORTOR, NORMAN LEWIS, and HUGIE LEE-SMITH blossomed in the heart of these hard times of the 1930's. Support and recognition for the visual artists was forthcoming and grew via the United States government under FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and the NEW DEAL. He established, in December of 1933, the first federal PUBLIC WORKS OF ART PROJECT (PWAP) under the division of the U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT. This created Arts work project was ineffective, and only a few artists received commissions, mostly as MURALISTS for State and Federal buildings. After four and a half months, the PWAP ceased to function. It was later, in 1935, that President Roosevelt created the WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (WPA).

The WPA provided a less restrictive environment for all American artists, but this helped the African-American visual artists to surge to newer heights. Art took on a new meaning. HUMAN and SOCIAL CONDITIONS could be expressed. POLITICS and ART fused, and historical and current social injustices were allowable manifestations in the creation of art pieces. PHILADELPHIA, BOSTON, WASHINGTON, D.C., and SAN FRANCISCO became meccas for a large number of African-American visual artists. The WPA of 1935 gave these artists the necessary time to develop their acclaimed skills. The first in a series of experienced African-American visual artists under the WPA went on to become the first university professors of ART. The WPA also helped in the creation of less restrictive art forms coming from African-American artists. MIXED MEDIA, ABSTRACT ART, CUBISM, and SOCIAL REALISM were now acceptable and desirable creative expressions.

When the artists of the WPA began to swell in numbers, they united and formed the HARLEM ARTISTS GUILD in 1935. This beginning helped to organize groups of artists into unions which allowed them to share in available places for exhibiting their works. Churches, storefront, and community-based fundraising efforts came on the scene, and finally it became in vogue to celebrate the creations of the African-American Visual Artists. The Harlem Artists Guild therefore became a catalyst and model for the support and development of other COMMUNITY ART CENTERS in larger cities across America. These centers now provided studio space plus free classes in a variety of expanded visual art forms. DRAWING, SCULPTING, PRINTMAKING, PAINTING, POTTERY, QUILTING, WEAVING, and PHOTOGRAPHY were some of the skills developed by promising visual artists. But, by 1938, the WPA was in trouble, and the HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS called it costly and that the art projects were "fraught and subversive." By the end of 1939, the entire WPA and arts projects division were terminated, and many African-American artists had to give up on the labor of producing creative pieces of art.

The 1940's and 1950's were not easy times for the African-American visual artists. Only the acceptable, critically acclaimed few were able to work and produce lucrative pieces of art. Patrons of the arts were still mostly white and wealthy. Good reviews and widespread exhibitions were the only avenues for survival for the African-American visual artists. The ART GALLERIES during this period were extremely selective as to WHO and WHAT were going to be shown in their galleries. In the beginning, only the selected acceptable works of JACOB LAWRENCE, ROMARE BEARDEN, and HORACE PIPPIN entered the exclusive world of THE GALLERY SCENE. Very few African-Americans before 1960 received the invitational embrace to show their works in well known galleries.


CHANGING TIMES

The 1960's and 1970's ushered in the beginning of many nationwide social and political changes for African Americans in general. The CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, the ASSASSINATIONS of JOHN F. KENNEDY, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR, and ROBERT KENNEDY brought to the African American visual artists a high degree of consciousness and commitment to capturing startling and changing events and transposing these expressions into paintings and photographs. The struggle for EQUAL RIGHTS in AMERICA created another focus and slanted the visual artists' conceptions of art as a means of social and political expression. The NOW was on CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN ART. The climate in America presented a high degree of uncertainty, and the emphasis on AFRO in American life and in art brought in artistic creations fused with many unexplained abstractions which took on a surrealistic quality. Many mixed media collages having bold geometric forms with abstract and metaphysical themes suddenly appeared in art. Before the 70's ended, the African American visual artists had acquired a full range of mixed lessons coming from their environmental encounters and their experimentation with free expressions.

This was also a time of rapid explosion in support coming from many newly established COMMUNITY ART CENTERS and a host of GALLERIES created exclusively for the showing of works by African American visual artists. Many more African American visual artists also took on Afrocentric themes and subjects dealing with the human conditions of being African Americans. This was also a time when some of the well known and established African American visual artists began to teach and even establish UNIVERSITY ART DEPARTMENTS at many of the HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES.

The 1980's and 1990's saw several major happenings in the world of the African-American visual artists:

  • Most major cities could now boast about their having a major museum or gallery which dealt with African American history and culture.
  • Many large CORPORATIONS were reaching out to sponsor the Arts of African American artists. Examples: JOSEPH E. SEAGRAM AND SONS, BEN AND JERRY'S ICE CREAM, and SMITH KLINE LABORATORIES.
  • Federal Government support via THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS was available.
  • Many city GOVERNMENTS decided to provide FUNDING FOR THE ARTS.
  • MUSEUMS and GALLERIES have now become year-round CULTURAL CENTERS with diversified activities and FUNDRAISING PROGRAMS.
  • TOURISM BUREAUS have been promoting cities by citing the locations and types of galleries and museums, featuring their PERMANENT ART COLLECTIONS and also the appearances of TRAVELING ART EXHIBITS such as THE BARNETT-ADEN ART COLLECTION covering the world's largest collection of African American Art from 1850 to the present day.
  • The year of 1968 opened the doors for many more exhibits by the MAINSTREAM MAJOR ART MUSEUMS. That focus came about due to the showing of AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE 1930'S at the WHITNEY MUSEUM. African American artists were not included in this presentation, and they later pressured the MUSEUM to allow them to do a showing. In 1971, an exhibit entitled CONTEMPORARY BLACK ARTISTS was staged at the Whitney Museum in New York. Other doors later opened as African American artists were exhibited at the MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, and the GUGGENHEIM.


NOTABLE AFRICAN- AMERICAN VISUAL ARTISTS
( *  indicates a link to the artist's official site )
  • Alston, Charles H. (1907-1977), Muralist, Sculptor, Painter
  • Bannister, Edward Mitchell (1828-1901), Artist, Painter
  • Barthe, Richmond (1901-1989), Sculptor
  • Basquiat, Jean-Michel (1960-1988), World Renowned Graffiti Artist
  • Bearden, Romare (1914-1988), Artist, Painter
  • Biggers, John T. (1924-2001), Muralist
  • Blackburn, Robert Hamilton (1920-2003), Master Printmaker, Painter, Teacher, Founder of the Printmaking Workshop of New York City
  • Blackshear, Thomas (1955- ), Artist and Illustrator and a prolific creator of works featuring paintings, prints, sculptures, figurines, jewelry, and collectable artifacts *
  • Bolden, Hawkins (1914- ), Folk Art Sculptor
  • Burke, Selma (1900-1995), Sculptor, Educator
  • Catlett, Elizabeth (1915- ), Sculptor, Artist, Printmaker
  • Chase-Riboud, Barbara (1939- ), Sculptor
  • Clark, Irene (1927-1984), Painter
  • Collins, Paul (1932- ), Painter, Portraitist *
  • Cortor, Eldzier (1916- ), Painter, Artist, Lithographer, Printmaker
  • Cole, Allen E. (1884-1970), Photographer
  • Colescott, Robert (1925- ), World renowned painter, teacher known for his expressions dealing with racial intolerance by utilizing parodies of famous art pieces and translating them into his own art work
  • Cousins, Harold (1916-1992), Sculptor in Metal
  • Ernest Crichlow (1914- ), Painter
  • Crite, Allan Rohan (1910- ), Painter, Illustrator
  • Avel C. deKnight (1923-1995), Painter *
  • Delaney, Beauford (1901-1979), Expressionistic Painter, Artist
  • Delaney, Joseph (1904-1991), Painter, Portraitist
  • Douglas, Aaron (1899-1979), Painter, Illustrator
  • Driskell, David C. (1931- ), Painter, Educator, Historian
  • Duncanson, Robert Scott (1823-1872), Painter, Portraitist
  • Edmondson, William (1882-1951), Stonemaster, Sculptor, Folk Artist
  • Evans, Minnie (1890-1987), Mixed Media Artist
  • Fax, Elton (1909- ), Artist, Illustrator
  • Feelings, Tom (1933- ), Artist, Illustrator
  • Fuller, Meta Vaux Warrick (1877-1968), Sculptor
  • Gorleigh, Rex (1902-1987), Painter
  • Green, Jonathan (1955- ), Painter, Lithographer
  • Harper, William (1873-1910), Impressionistic Painter
  • Hathaway, Isaac Scott (1874-1967), Sculptor, Ceramicist, Illustrator, Teacher
  • Hayden, Palmer C. (1890-1973), Painter
  • Hobbs, G. W. (c.1780-????), Portraitist, Artist
  • Hudson, Julien (c.1830-????), Portraitist
  • Hunt, Richard (1935- ), Sculptor of Metal
  • Hunter, Clementine (c.1886-1988), Painter of Life Experiences on a Southern Plantation
  • Johnson, Malvin Gray (1896-1934), Artist
  • Johnson, Sargent (1888-1967), Modernistic Artist and Sculptor
  • Johnson, William H. (1901-1970), Expressionistic Painter
  • Johnston, Joshua (c.1765-1830), Painter
  • Jones, Lois Mailou (1905-1998), Painter, Artist
  • Knox, Simmie (1935- ), Portraitist, Artist, Teacher, renowned for his "represenational paintings" and portraits of notable celebrities and government offcials. First African American artist commissioned to paint a U.S. president, unveiled at the White House, of former president, William J. Clinton, including the portrait of former first lady, Senator Hillary R. Clinton. *
  • Lark, Raymond (1939- ), Painter, Draftsman, Graphic Artist, Author, Art Historian, Art Scholar/Educator *
  • Lawrence, Jacob (1917-2000), Painter
  • Lee-Smith, Hughie (1915-1999), Metaphysical Painter
  • Lewis, Edmonia (1845-1879), Sculptor
  • Lewis, Norman (1909-1979), Expressionistic Painter
  • Locke, Dr. Alain L. (1886-1954), Writer, Historian, Intellectual
  • McGruder, Aaron (1974- ), Political Cartoonist, Satirist, Illustrator, Creator of the Comic Strip, "Boondocks" *
  • Motley, Archibald J. Jr. (1891-1980), Painter
  • Muirhead, Deborah (1949- ), Professor of Art, Painter, and Author; Expressive painter of historical images taken from the ancestral past of the African's experience in America, creating spiritual interpretations in her artistic works
  • Owens, Carl (1929- ), Artist, Illustrator
  • Otis, Jonny (1921- ), White Painter, Sculptor, Musician
  • Parks, Gordon (1912- ), Photographer, Author, Composer
  • Perkins, Marion (1908-1961), Stone Sculptor
  • Pinkney, Jerry (1939- ), Artist, Lecturer, Caldecott (2000) Honor Medalist, and three time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award
  • Pippin, Horace (1888-1946), Painter
  • Porter, Charles Ethan (1847-1923), Painter
  • Porter, James A. (1905-1970), Painter, Historian, Teacher
  • Prophet, Elizabeth (1890-1960), Sculptor
  • Puryear, Martin (1941- ), Sculptor
  • Reason, Patrick (1817-1850), Early Lithographer, Engraver, Portraitist
  • Reyneau, Betsy Graves (1888-1964), Painter
  • Ringgold, Faith (1930- ), Artist, Author, Educator *
  • Ruley, Ellis (1882-1959), Self-taught Artist
  • Sallée, Charles Jr. (1913- ), Painter
  • Savage, Augusta (1892-1962), Sculptor
  • Sebree, Charles (1914-1985), Mixed Media Artist
  • Simms, Carroll H. (1924- ), Sculptor
  • Simpson, William (1818-1872), Artist, Portraitist
  • Sleet, Moneta Jr. (1926-1996), Photographer
  • Smith, Bruce (1962- ), Animator; creator/executive producer of the Disney Channel's cartoon series, "The Proud Family"; co-founder of Jambalaya Studio, producer of animated projects for TV, movies, and the internet. *
  • Tanner, Henry Ossawa (1859-1937), Painter
  • Thomas, Alma Woodsey (1891-1978), Painter
  • Thompson, Robert (1936-1966), Painter of Imagined Themes and Symbols
  • Thrash, Dox (1893-1965), Printmaker
  • Tolliver, William (1951-2000), Self-Taught Painter of Portraits and Scenes of Life Dealing with Impressionistic Moods and Expressions of African Americans *
  • Traylor, Bill (1854-1947), Folk Artist
  • Van Der Zee, James (1886-1983), Photographer
  • Van Vechten, Carl (1880-1964), Silver Print Photographer
  • Waring, Laura Wheeler (1887-1948), Painter
  • Washington, James W. Jr. (1909- ), Sculptor
  • Wells, James Lesesne (1902-1993), Painter
  • White, Charles (1918-1979), Printmaker, Graphic Artist
  • Wilson, Ed (1925- ), Sculptor, Artist
  • Wilson, Ellis (1899-1977), Painter
  • Woodruff, Hale A. (1900-1980), Painter
  • Wright, Bernard (1938- ), Painter, Graphic Artist, Lithographer, Draftsman, Printmaker *


THE AFRICAN INFLUENCE

Although many of the African-American visual artists stayed away from Afrocentric themes in their creations, the seeds were transplanted and later developed among these artists. African art represented a part of daily living, ceremonial rituals, and personal utility. Wood, bronze, ivory, gold, metal, cloth, and copper were some of the media used as symbols of expressions which could often be translated into possessions of power, spirituality, or leadership. Useful artistic creations are also obvious: such as chairs, spoons, bowls, cups, knives, and multicolored wearing apparel and jewelry. African art belonged to the people; it was an extension or an expression coming from the people. The importance of African art was appreciated as items of beauty and possessions of wealth by European travelers long before the African-Americans could focus on these items of creativity. It is not known whether the fear of nonacceptance of creations covering Afrocentric themes was the problem or the direction of training required of the African-American visual artists. Many of the modern artists, such as PICASSO or MATISSE, were later documented as "modern artists who had studied African sculpture because they were fascinated by the possibilities of utilizing its design concepts, not because it was the work of black African artists." African-American sculptors, RICHMOND BARTHE (1901-1989) and LOIS MAILOU JONES (1905-1998) were two of the first African-American visual artists to specify their creations as influences of African art. BARTHE'S two sculptures, the BLACKBERRY WOMAN (1932) and the AFRICAN DANCER (1932), were purchased by the WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART for its own collection in New York. JONES' creation of LES FETICHES (1938) was considered one of the earliest directed art pieces toward African influences. She chose and studied the different AFRICAN MASKS before undertaking her creative task. JONES also "advised students to go to Africa to see such artworks in their social and religious context." Today, the African influence in the visual arts is widespread. PARSON'S SCHOOL OF DESIGN in New York City is an example of far reaching vision of accepting and fusing African Art into American Art.


THE AFRICAN MASK

The widespread use of the African mask has been for centuries the focal point of initiation rites, funerals, dances, authority symbols, protection symbols, and spiritual embodiments among the African people. Each mask represents an expression or idea which is manifested into the final design. Sometimes a mask is deliberately carved out to look rough or fierce and at times "ugly." When an African mask is completed, it represents a unified idea which could be connected with the earth or with an unknown.

The beauty of the African mask lies in the multiplicity of its expression. Examples would be a round pout-mouth conveying sadness, visible teeth conveying cheerfulness, or spiral antelope horns representing war. Grotesque faces are used to ridicule, intimidate, and even threaten the viewer. Some masks, such as this reproduction from DAN, LIBERIA, were used in symbolic sacred ceremonies and initiation rites for young men going into secret societies. This mask is used in dance and acts as a guardian of power against illness. The cowrie shells and hairlike beard represent dignity, power, and energy.




THE AFRICAN OBA MASK
Nigeria, Court of Benin

This replication of the original mask presents an idea of what the royal artwork of Benin City looked like during the 15th century. The original mask is made of hand-carved ivory and is located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection, New York City. Historians believe the original piece to be a woman: the mother of the king during the time the Portuguese colonized West Africa. The story goes that it was the ceremonial mask worn by the king and was used as a hip attachment.


THE SNOW CONE MAN

From the collection of the late Professor John Turner of the C. W. Post Campus' History Department. The Snow Cone Man was presented to Professor Turner by one of his students. Not much is known about the hand-painted sculpture. The Snow Cone Man captures a special group of people who were roving peddlers selling snowballs or snow cones with multiple flavored syrups during the hot summers of Southern America and in the Caribbean and West Indies.


JOSHUA JOHNSTON
Portraitist and Painter (1765-1830)

In the history of early America, the art world was full of unknowns due to the lack of sufficient documentation, especially with dates and names inscribed on specific works of art. Joshua Johnston, as a portraitist and painter of the late 1700's and early 1800's, was included in this ongoing search for more verification by art historians. The link to Johnston as an African American portraitist comes from pieces of information gathered for over 20 years by Dr. J. Hall Pleasants, an expert on early American MARYLAND artists. Records of early listings of JOSHUA JOHNSTON (sometimes listed as JOHNSON) came from an old BALTIMORE, MARYLAND city directory of 1796. An 1817 directory listed JOSHUA JOHNSTON in the "FREE HOUSEHOLDERS OF COLOR" section. Dr. Pleasants has identified 34 paintings in the style of Joshua Johnston. One picture portrait of SARAH OGDEN GUSTIN is unsigned, but she holds a book with "JOSHU JOHNSON" painted on the heading. In a revealing advertisement in the BALTIMORE INTELLIGENCER, dated December 19, 1798, JOSHUA JOHNSTON is advertised as a PORTRAIT PAINTER and as a "self-taught genius." In 1940, LIFE MAGAZINE, in its ART section, did a story entitled, "AMERICAN PAINTINGS, CARNEGIE HOLDS GREAT SURVEY." Among the listed examples of American artists are COPLEY, STUART, [etc.], including the recognition of JOSHUA JOHNSTON and his portrait painting of THE JAMES MCCORMICK FAMILY, done about 1805. It is said that JOHNSTON "is believed to be the first painter of his race in the U.S." By 1815, the free black population of Baltimore, Maryland outnumbered the slave population, and Joshua Johnston was instrumental in doing portraits of these free African Americans. His PORTRAIT OF A CLERIC (ca.1805, in oil) is now in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the portrait of REVEREND DANIEL COKER of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (ca.1817) is now in the American Museum in Bath, England. Today, the Maryland Historical Society has a record of 80 portraits attributed to Joshua Johnston. His fame and talent were comparable to the other white portraitists of his day, such as CHARLES WILSON PEALE. Parts of his mysterious life are still being unraveled here in 1996.

Portrait of Sea Captain John Murphy at the National Museum of American Art
Portrait of Mrs. Barbara Baker Murphy (Wife of Sea Captain) at the National Museum of American Art


SCIPIO MOORHEAD
Engraver of Portraits (c.1773)

Scipio Moorhead was a slave of the Reverend John Moorhead of Boston, Massachusetts. Scipio's talents for drawing were advanced by Sarah Moorhead, the wife of the Rev. Moorhead. Sarah Moorhead was a teacher of art and drawing. The recognition of Scipio's work came about through the documented inscription of the black poet, PHILLIS WHEATLEY. Phillis left behind a pencilled note, "To S.M., a young African painter, on seeing his works," in a copy of her 1773 edition of POEMS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, RELIGIOUS AND MORAL. Phillis later wrote, "Scipio Moorhead, Negro servant to the Rev. Moorhead of Boston, whose genius inclined him that way." Scipio Moorhead later engraved a portrait of Phillis Wheatley which appeared on the cover page of her books of poetry. That famous scene shows Phillis with a quill pen writing at her desk in colonial American dress. Very little else is known about Scipio Moorhead. His tribute to fame comes from his spirit to create as an early American visual artist without an avenue for recognition.


ROBERT SCOTT DUNCANSON
Painter and Portraitist (1823-1872)

Robert S. Duncanson was born in Seneca County, upstate New York, in 1823. His mother was a free woman of African descent, and his father was a Canadian of Scottish descent. Duncanson was fortunate enough to understand his early connection to Canada and the Underground Railroad which led to Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of his mother's upbringing. Cincinnati, Ohio was a border state when Slavery was a burning issue in America. In Cincinnati, Duncanson was able to freely participate in the city's art education programs. The FREEDMAN'S AID SOCIETY OF OHIO raised money and sent Duncanson to Glasgow, Scotland to study painting in 1839. Upon his return to Cincinnati around 1842, his reputation skyrocketed, and he was exhibited in many of the museums around Cincinnati. His style of painting is characterized as that of the HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL. The romantic, soft, and naturalistic landscapes scenes were breathtaking. Duncanson, as an established artist, also dealt with the early photographic process known as DAGUERREOTYPE. He even did portrait painting and murals on a broad scale. Duncanson was known for his travels. Besides Cincinnati, he lived in and traveled to Detroit, Michigan, and depicted countless landscape scenes in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New England, and Scotland. As the AMERICAN CIVIL WAR (1861-1865) developed and ended, Duncanson's position as a free man of color became very much a part of his consciousness. Due to his light complexion, he was sometimes confused as being a white artist. Nevertheless, Duncanson's outstanding work caught the eye of the critics and his fellow talented colleagues. One author said that "Duncanson lived in a period of great change, and being mulatto, he undoubtedly faced many social and professional disappointments." Duncanson left behind an array of superb works. In 1972, the Cincinnati Art Museum was able to exhibit 35 of his preserved works.

Among his creations are:


EDWARD MITCHELL BANNISTER
Artist and Painter (1828-1901)

Edward Bannister was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, but, due to the deaths of both his parents at an early age, he was forced to grow up fast. Shortly after his birth, the British abolished slavery in all of its provinces; therefore Bannister lived as a free Black and was able to freely develop his propensity for art by studying the larger views of the established visual artists. He later traveled to Boston and New York as a seaman. He loved to visit libraries, museums, and art galleries. Bannister saw the beginning stages of daguerreotype and its implications for photography as an established art form. He became an early painter of photographs. His marriage to Christina Carteaux, a prominent New York businesswoman, enabled and encouraged him to paint full time as an established artist. Bannister was able to have his own studio where he developed his talent for choosing a style of art based upon the Barbizon style of painting which used mostly serene landscapes and scenes taken from nature. Bannister's position in Boston helped him to become a painter and advocate of rights for the Union black soldiers during the Civil War. His commissioned portrait of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was created and hung in the State House in Boston. By 1870, Bannister and his wife moved to Providence, Rhode Island. His creation of UNDER THE OAKS in Providence won him the first prize at the world 1876 CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION held in Philadelphia. Bannister never took formal art training, and he attributed his talents to religious beliefs in almighty God. Bannister was highly respected in Providence. He was one of the founders of the PROVIDENCE ART CLUB which later helped to develop the prestigious RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN. Bannister was definitely a giant among the visual artists of his day.

Some of his notable works include:


EDMONIA LEWIS
Sculptor (1845-ca.1909)

The amazing talent of Edmonia Lewis can only leave one speechless. She was born on July 14, 1845 in the village of Greenbush in Rensselaer County, New York. Her father was African-American, and her mother was part Native American from the Mississauga Tribe of the Chippewa Nation. When her parents died early on in Edmonia's life, she was raised as a Mississauga Indian with the culture and values of the Chippewa Nation. By 1858, Edmonia left her Native American environment for a life at the preparatory department at Oberlin College in Ohio. Oberlin College was the Mecca for staunch abolitionists and Christian advocates. Edmonia was a live-in boarder with the Reverend John Keep, a theologian at Oberlin. She was also there when, on October 1859, JOHN BROWN and two African-Americans from Oberlin were involved in the HARPER'S FERRY arsenal raid. While continuing her studies at Oberlin, young Edmonia was falsely accused in two cases involving students linking her to college infractions. She was forced to leave Oberlin, but she was never expelled. Her talents were already recognizable, therefore she moved to Boston and started her first lessons in modeling clay under the tutelage of sculptor, Edward Brackett. Edmonia Lewis was determined to become a recognizable sculptor. Her big challenge came when, upon the death of Colonel ROBERT GOULD SHAW, the leader of the all black Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment at FORT WAGNER, South Carolina, she completed a marble bust from her memory and his photograph. Edmonia Lewis, who now worked near the inspirational black artist EDWARD M. BANNISTER, also sold plaster reproductions of Shaw, with the consent of his family, to help raise funds for the underpaid black Union Soldiers. At the end of the Civil War, Lewis went to Italy to study and work with other sculptors and artists involved in the purist reproduction of the Neoclassical art forms. In ROME, Lewis was able to meet many prominent American writers. Among them were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Edmonia Lewis was destitute but determined to produce works of art in marble. After two years of work in ROME, she completed FOREVER FREE in marble (1867-68) and shipped it to America and had to literally beg for the cost of the marble and shipping fees from her American friends and aids. Edmonia Lewis was determined to buck the "odds" -- she was a woman and a black artist -- nevertheless, she endured. Edmonia Lewis' greatest fear was that people would say she did not create those works of art. This fear made her undaunted, and she drew curious onlookers to her studio as she did all the physical, heavy work as a woman sculptor. Edmonia Lewis' last known exhibition was in the UNITED STATES CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION in Philadelphia in 1876 and Chicago in 1878. No record of her death was ever recorded, and different sources report various dates from 1890 to after 1911. There is also some disagreement as to whether she was born in 1845 or 1843, with a few sources even claiming 1840 or 1844.

Her works include:


HENRY OSSAWA TANNER
The Life of an Artist (1859-1937)

Henry O. Tanner was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1859. He came from a devoutly religious home, for his father was a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. When Henry was seven, Bishop Tanner moved his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was a minister at the famed MOTHER BETHEL A.M.E. CHURCH. Henry was exposed to religion and learned the strength of family life coming from it in daily living. At age seventeen, he toured the 1876 CENTENNIAL ART EXHIBIT in Philadelphia. He saw the works of British, French, Italian, and Middle Eastern painters. Among the Americans, he passed the works of GILBERT STUART, CHARLES WILSON PEALE, JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY, and WINSLOW HOMER. He also suddenly came across the inclusion of works done by two African American artists at the EXHIBITION. They were EDMONIA LEWIS' DEATH OF CLEOPATRA and EDWARD M. BANNISTER'S prize winning landscape, UNDER THE OAKS.

Tanner's father had hoped and encouraged his son to follow in the A.M.E. ministry, but Tanner had to turn to his own wishes, and he decided that indeed it was now possible to be an artist. At age twenty-one, Tanner entered the PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS. Here he was able to gain the necessary rudiments for his future artistic development. THOMAS EAKINS, who later became one of America's foremost photographers and artists, was Tanner's first inspirational teacher and mentor. Tanner was also impressed with EAKINS' portrayal of African Americans in his artwork as natural and dignified subjects. EAKINS also taught Tanner how to use his talent in drawing and using color contrast and photography for art study purposes. Tanner credited the painter, THOMAS HOVENDEN, and his sensitive treatment of race as a subject in several of his paintings, but especially THE LAST MOMENTS OF JOHN BROWN and THEIR PRIDE, which inspired him to continue art as a chosen field of work.

Tanner discovered early on in his career that an artist had to sell his creations in order to live. He therefore created drawings and illustrations specifically for sale in the book and magazine market. By 1889, Tanner had moved to Atlanta, Georgia and opened his own photography studio. Within one year, the studio was a failure, and he took a job as the first art instructor at CLARK UNIVERSITY in Atlanta. With the help of Clark University trustee, Bishop Joseph Hartzell, Tanner was able to continue his quest and dream of painting religious scenes in Rome and Palestine. On his trip abroad, Tanner stopped over in PARIS, FRANCE. The richness of the LOUVRE and ACADEMIE JULIEN, plus the openness and freedom of PARIS impressed Tanner so much, he decided to make it his home. After only one year in PARIS, Tanner developed typhoid fever and was near death. He was forced to return to America and to his family for care.

Tanner's reflection on his reverence of what he knew of being an African American with integrity and dignity with strong cultural values became his inspiration for one of his most famous paintings, THE BANJO LESSON, completed in 1893. The following year, he completed THE THANKFUL POOR in 1894. Tanner later spoke as an artist, "he who has the most sympathy with his subject will achieve the best results." Tanner wanted desperately to return to PARIS, therefore he sold sixteen of his works in order to raise his travel money. THE BANJO LESSON and THE THANKFUL POOR were among the saleables. THE BANJO LESSON was later purchased by Robert C. Ogden and given to HAMPTON UNIVERSITY. THE THANKFUL POOR was purchased by John T. Morris, who allowed it to be circulated on loan to the PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF. (After 75 years, it was located in a closet of the school. It was put up for auction at SOTHEBY'S in 1981, and William and Camille O. COSBY bought the painting for $250,000. This was the highest price ever paid for a work of art by an African American artist.)

By 1895, Tanner had decided to pursue his longing for fulfillment in painting religious and biblical subjects, and, with the money earned at the 1894 sale, he returned to PARIS. In Paris, Tanner produced DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN (1895) and THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS (1896). The LAZARUS painting earned him a gold medal from the Salon du Societe des Artistes Francais in Paris (Summer 1896). With this recognition, Tanner received the financial backing from several PATRONS of the Arts. Tanner was finally able to travel to increase his visual technique in his works. He went to NAPLES, ROME, VENICE, ALEXANDRIA, CAIRO, JERUSALEM, and JORDAN. In his travels, he produced:

Tanner's paintings won him hundreds of world prizes and honors. His works were sought after and shown at the ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM, TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART, PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, LUXEMBOURG MUSEUM, THE LOUVRE, and countless private COLLECTION SHOWS. He was one of America's first African American painters to be exhibited in the LONDON EXHIBIT OF 1914, which featured the works of distinguished American artists such as WEST, STUART, WHISTLER, HOMER, and COPLEY. Tanner had established himself as an artist among artists. His name and prestige drew students from afar to see this man, an African American Man at the center of the art world. W.E.B. DUBOIS called him the "DEAN" of American black artists in his CRISIS MAGAZINE. Students of art such as PALMER HAYDEN, WILLIAM H. JOHNSON, AARON DOUGLAS, and HALE A. WOODUFF visited and received encouragement and artistic advice from Tanner at his Paris residence.

By 1934, Tanner had outlived his wife, father, mother, sister, and younger brother. Three years later, in 1937, he died in his sleep in his Paris apartment at the age of 78. Tanner's Legacy was one of conviction and expression on the faith of mankind. It was evident in the works of art he left behind.




THE BANJO LESSON
Henry Ossawa Tanner (completed in 1893)

It is said that this painting showed some influence by the American painter Thomas Eakins. Eakins was one of Tanner's teachers and his mentor when he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the year 1880. Tanner wanted to show a positive image of the African-American in this work by capturing a moment of dignity in the touching scene of the elder teaching the boy how to play the banjo. Tanner also chose the banjo because of its African origin and its being the most popular musical instrument used by the slaves in early America. (369k graphic)


ISAAC SCOTT HATHAWAY
Sculptor, Ceramicist, Illustrator, Teacher (1874-1967)

Many visual artists who deserve recognition as worthy contributors to the arts have been ignored or either sparcely cited in many standard reference books and research bibliographies. One of those neglected names was that of Isaac Scott Hathaway. This exclusion was recently brought to light by Kendrick Moore, curator of the Isaac Scott Hathaway Collection, now a resident of Oklahoma City and formerly a resident of Louisville, Kentucky.

Isaac Scott Hathaway, sculptor and career visual artist, was one of three children born to the Reverend and Mrs. Hathaway of the Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky in the year 1874. Isaac's mother died when he was only age three. Isaac and his two sisters, Fannie and Eva, were reared by their grandmother.

Isaac Scott Hathaway's childhood was filled with questions. When he was age nine, he asked his father - while touring a museum stocked with busts of famous white Americans - where was the bust of his hero, the famed Frederick Douglass? His father had to explain to Isaac that there were no trained Negro sculptors involved in molding prominent Negro people as yet. Isaac answered, "I am going to model busts of Negroes and put them where people can see them." That determination stood fast, and Isaac Hathaway was determined to learn what was needed to become an artist and a sculptor.

Isaac went to Chandler College in Lexington, Kentucky and Pittsburg Normal College in Pittsburg, Kansas where he studied ceramics. In an effort to learn more about art and sculpture, Isaac enrolled in the Art Department of the New England Conservatory of Music. He also continued his studies at the Cincinnati Art Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Additional studies were done in Ceramics at the State University of Kansas at Pittsburg, Kansas and in the College of Ceramics of the State University of New York at Alfred, New York.

Isaac used his diversified education and art background in the lessons he taught as an elementary school teacher in Kentucky. His education in the arts and his creative genius helped him in preparing visual plaster of paris models for his classroom science lessons, including one he molded into an intricate human skeleton.

Soon the work and name of Isaac Hathaway gained notice, and many of his peers advised him to develop a company which could distribute "sculptural products on a national scale." Isaac Hathaway did just that. His company became known at first as the Afro Art Company, but later he changed it to the Isaac Hathaway Art Company. Hathaway was able to fulfill his life's dream by producing the busts of many famous and prominent African-Americans for distribution to schools and public places. Among his busts were: Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Richard Allen, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, George Washington Carver, and C.C. Spaulding, to name a few. Isaac Hathaway, besides his creative busts, utilized other formats for his creations. He molded plaques and masks of prominent white and black figures which could be hung on walls of colleges, churches, and places of business. Hathaway also did extensive sculptures in bronze metal upon request by commissioners in government and academe.

By 1915, the talents of Isaac Hathaway had elevated him to a position of high esteem and demand as an artist. He was among the first to introduce the art of ceramics into the college curricula at dozens of universities in the United States. He was the founding member of the Department of Ceramics at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama where he stayed from 1937-1947.

On August 7, 1946 President Harry S. Truman authorized a commission by the U.S. Mint of a fifty cent piece "to commemorate the life and perpetuate the ideas and teachings of Booker T. Washington." Isaac Hathaway was chosen as the designer of the Booker T. Washington coin, thus becoming the first African-American to design a U.S. coin. (As a historical note, Selma Burke is often credited with this distinction, but the Roosevelt Dime, also issued in 1946, was based on a sculpture she had created two years earlier that was not specifically commissioned by the U.S. Mint.) Isaac Hathaway was also chosen as the designer of the George Washington Carver commemorative fifty cent piece back in 1951.

Isaac Hathaway once said that he believed "that the art of a people not only conveys their mental, spiritual, and civic growth to posterity, but convinces their contemporaries that they can best portray in crystallization their feelings, aspirations, and desires." Isaac Hathaway certainly lived by these convictions. He died in 1967 at age 93.


ELLIS RULEY
Painter (1882-1959)

Ellis Ruley was born in Norwich, Connecticut. He did construction work as a laborer for most of his adult life. He started to paint in the year 1939 by using ordinary house paint to create images of popular culture and popular scenes which he came upon via the movies or in his bucolic surroundings. Ruley's artwork had a touch of the exotic which enabled him to produce expressive paintings of familiar impressions but from different perspectives. The San Diego Museum of Art, in cooperation with the Ford Motor Company, now has a traveling exhibit, "DISCOVERING ELLIS RULEY," which is now at the MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART in New York City (March 2 - April 28, 1996).

Shown here: JUNGLE GIRL AND LION, oil based house paint on poster board, not dated.


HORACE PIPPIN
Painter (1888-1946)

Horace Pippin, a self-made creative artist, was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in the year of 1888. His early boyhood was spent in Goshen, New York, where his father was a laborer and his mother a domestic. Pippin always enjoyed drawing, particularly of objects or images he saw in his surroundings. Pippin's father died when he was fifteen, therefore, he quit school to take care of his mother who was in ill health. When she died in 1911, Pippin moved to Paterson, New Jersey, as a moving and storage company worker. He later took a job as a shoe molder for the American Brakeshoe Company. By 1917, America was engaged in the EUROPEAN WAR (World War I). Pippin volunteered for the Army unit and was assigned to the 15TH ALL BLACK INFANTRY REGIMENT, after receiving his army training at FORT DIX in New Jersey. Pippin's unit was transferred to served under the FRENCH FORCES in 1918 as part of the 369th Infantry. Corporal Pippin was a squad leader, and, during one of the heavy German artillery barrages, he was seriously wounded in his right shoulder. His entire Regiment received the French Croix de Guerre for honorable distinction for their war efforts. Pippin was hospitalized in France for five months. Rehabilitation therapy did little to restore Pippin's use of his injured shoulder, but it made him focus more on strengthening the use of his right hand.

On his return to America in 1920, Pippin moved to Westchester, New York, where he married Jennie O. Featherstone, a widow with a small son. Pippin was full of memories about his life in the military and his living as an African-American in the 1920's. He desperately wanted to develop his interest in the area of painting, but his weak shoulder only allowed certain mobility. By 1929, Pippin devised a method of using a hot iron poker for gouging out composed creations into wood panels. He then filled in the panels with colorful paints. As shown in the photograph, he held his right hand in place with the use of his left hand. By 1931, his first major work, THE END OF THE WAR: STARTING HOME, was completed. Pippin continued to work on his paintings for eight years. In 1938, Holger Cahill, curator of the New York Museum of Modern Art, was alerted to Pippin's unusual talent by Dr. Christian Brenton of the Westchester Art Center and the notable illustrator, N.C. Wyeth. Four of Pippin's works were immediately accepted by Cahill and shown at the New York Museum's 1938 exhibition called the MASTERS OF POPULAR ART.

This important acceptance lead to a call for several One Man Shows featuring his works. Several museums and foundations also wanted to acquire the works of HORACE PIPPIN. How could this be happening? Art critics called this "new find" the work of an "AUTHENTIC" American voice. Because Pippin had no specialized training, such as those African-American artists trained in the academic or European influences, he was regarded as a purest in his creations. Later curator, Judith Stein of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, called his works a "SPIRITUAL SELF-PORTRAIT." Before his death in 1946, Pippin had produced 137 known paintings, including his burnt wood panel paintings. His works encompassed: war scenes, events of people in different genre, small town typical scenes, animal scenes, and religious images. Pippin once said, "PICTURES JUST COME TO MY MIND; I THINK THEM OUT WITH MY BRAIN, AND THEN I TELL MY HEART TO GO AHEAD." Horace Pippin was offered free training by several art institutions, but his zeal to produce art creations his way shied him away from formal training.

In 1944, Horace Pippin's wife, Jennie, was committed to the state mental hospital at Norristown, Pennsylvania, and his only son entered the military for active duty during the next great war, World War II. For the next two years of his life, Horace Pippin kept busy and produced an enormous collection of paintings. It is said that they are "autobiographical," for they came from his vision of what his world was like. Horace Pippin died of a stroke on July 6, 1946. His wife died at Norristown ten days later. In 1994, The Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia organized a touring exhibit entitled, I TELL MY HEART: THE ART OF HORACE PIPPIN, which toured from January 21, 1994 - April 30, 1995.


AARON DOUGLAS
Woodcut Printer, Illustrator, Muralist (1899-1979)

Aaron Douglas was born on May 26, 1899 in Topeka, Kansas. Aaron was encouraged at an early age by his mother to continue his creative interest in art. His drawings and paintings were welcomed on the walls of the Douglas' home. His most serious decision in becoming an artist came from his exposure to the African American painter, HENRY OSSAWA TANNER, and his CHRIST AND NICODEMUS painting done in the year of 1899. Aaron Douglas seemed to have embraced the art world at the right moment. He graduated with a B.A. in FINE ARTS from the University of Nebraska in 1922 and later graduated from Teachers College of Columbia University in 1944. During the heyday of the HARLEM RENAISSANCE, the name of Aaron Douglas was preeminent as an artist among his colleagues and the leading writers and leading intellectuals of the day. Because he was able to reproduce illustrations for books and magazines, his services were in high demand. Douglas taught art at Lincoln High School in Topeka for two years, but his goal was to utilize his talents in the revival of artistic opportunity available in New York. Douglas was accepted as the illustrator for Dr. Alain Locke's new book, The New Negro, published in 1925. He became well known for Cubist-type black and white rhythmic illustrations. A good example was his GOD'S TROMBONES illustrations for JAMES WELDON JOHNSON'S book of poems and sermons in verse. Douglas' talents allowed him to become a successful muralist also. He was commissioned to do the murals for the 1920 opening in the CLUB EBONY in Harlem. In 1929, he traveled to Chicago to create a mural for the SHERMAN HOTEL'S COLLEGE INN BALLROOM. At the end of 1930, Douglas created another mural for FISK UNIVERSITY in Nashville, Tennessee. With the handsome fees for his murals, Douglas and his wife, Alta, went to PARIS, France, where he expanded his knowledge of painting and sculpture. He also met the writer, J.A. RODGERS, and painter, PALMER HAYDEN. Douglas also got a chance to meet with his lifelong idol: painter HENRY OSSAWA TANNER. On his return to the United States in 1928, Douglas became the first president of the HARLEM ARTISTS GUILD. The GUILD was successful in helping to get African-American artists the necessary acceptance into the arts project under the U.S. Government's WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (WPA). For his efforts, Douglas became known as the "DEAN" among his fellow artists. From 1939 to 1966, Douglas took on a position as a professor of art at FISK UNIVERSITY in Nashville, Tennessee. He later became department head before he retired in 1966. Aaron Douglas wanted to infuse his ideas and Afrocentric expressions into his creations. This break from the traditional display in his art was not well received and, initially, not understood by his critics. Before Douglas died in 1979, he was recognized for making it acceptable for future African-American artists to express in their creations movements and depictions from their experiences as African-Americans.

Some of his notable works include:

  • TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE, oil, 1935
  • THE NEGRO IN AN AFRICAN SETTING, black and white mural, oil, 1933
  • THE COMPOSER, portrait in oil, 1967
  • LISTEN, LORD - A PRAYER, black and white illustration, 1925
  • EVOLUTION OF THE NEGRO DANCE, black and white mural, oil, 1935


SELMA HORTENSE BURKE
Sculptor, Teacher (1900-1995)

Selma Hortense Burke is indeed a piece of history. Ms. Burke's contributions to the arts as a personality and mentor to other artists cannot be equaled. Her life's work reached back to the Harlem Renaissance and continued up until her death on September 2, 1995 at age 94 in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Selma H. Burke was born in 1900 in Mooresville, North Carolina. She was one of ten children born to Neal Burke, a Methodist Minister, and Mary Jackson Burke, an educator and homemaker. Selma became interested in art when she discovered that by modeling clay taken from the river bed near her parent's farm house she could make all kinds of figures and artistic objects. Her desire and interest in the arts took root immediately.

Even though Selma Burke wanted to become an artist, she was persuaded by her parents to enter the field of nursing. She went on to study nursing at Saint Agnes Training School for Nurses, Raleigh, North Carolina, and later extended her studies at Women's Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she completed her training in 1924.

The field of nursing lasted only a short while for Selma Burke. Upon the tragic death of her first husband, Durant Woodward in 1929, Ms. Burke took a job in New York as a private nurse for the wealthy heiress of the Otis Elevator Company where she stayed for four years. The Harlem Renaissance was at its peak, and the stock market crash came in 1929, but Selma Burke had discovered the richness of New York and a new opportunity in seeking out her life long goal in becoming an artist. She worked her way through New York's Art Student's League and took art courses at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. By 1935, she had met her second husband, the noted poet, writer, and author, Claude McKay. This relationship helped her to broaden her horizons and knowledge of the arts and literature encompassing Europe and Africa.

In 1936, Selma Burke won a Boehler Foundation Fellowship which helped her to travel in Europe. While there, she studied ceramics under Michael Powolny in Vienna, sculpture under Aristide Maillol, and painting with Henri Matisse, the painter and her mentor, in Paris, France.

Selma Burke came back to the United States and worked under Roosevelt's arts program with the WPA. She ended her marriage to Claude McKay by 1940 and married Herman Kobbe, an architect (which lasted for 15 years when he died in 1955). Selma Burke finished her MFA with the help of a scholarship and a Julius Rosenwald Award at Columbia University in 1941. Selma Burke did a short stint in the navy during World War II, but she was injured and thus returned to her art endeavors. In 1943, she won an international competition and was chosen to design a portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After some unsuccessful sketches from photographs, Selma Burke asked "Roosevelt could he sit in person." Roosevelt did sit for Ms. Burke on February 22, 1944. The completed work became a 3'6" by 2'6" bronze plaque with a profile of Roosevelt which included the inscription of the Four Freedoms:

  • Freedom from Want
  • Freedom from Fear
  • Freedom of Worship
  • Freedom of Speech
The plaque was unveiled by President Harry S.Truman on September 24, 1945 as it was installed in the Recorder of Deeds Building in Washington, DC (note: F.D.R. died on April 12, 1945 before the plaque was installed). Burke and many others believe that John Sinnock based his design for the Roosevelt Dime on this plaque.

Selma Burke believed in passing on what she had learned as a skilled visual artist. From 1940 up until the late 1970's, she taught art and sculpture at Livingston, Swarthmore, and Haverford Colleges. In 1940, she became the founder of the Selma Burke School of Sculpture in New York City, and, later in 1968, she established the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The A.W. Mellon Foundation selected Ms. Burke as a hired consultant from 1967-1976. Her works of art have been exhibited in countless museums around the world. Among her numerous honors is the Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts presented by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. In 1989, she was among the Essence Awards honories for the Arts. One of her last shows was at the Malcolm Brown Galley in Shaker Heights, NY. Fifteen of her stone and bronze sculptures were on view - among them, her plaster Falling Angel. Selma Burke is cited in extensive bibliographies and biographical reference sources.

Her notable works include:

  • FALLING ANGEL, plaster
  • JIM, plaster
  • PEACE, plaster
  • MARTIN L. KING, bronze statue


BEAUFORD DELANEY
Expressionistic Portraitist and Artist (1901-1979)

Beauford Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1901. He and his younger brother, Joseph, born 1904, both started out drawing at an early age. Beauford moved to Boston, Massachusetts when he was a teenager. He studied at the Massachusetts Normal Art School, the South Boston School of Art, and the Copley Society. Beauford lived an unsettling life as an artist and was in constant need of funds to continue his work and studies. Beauford was known for his commanding high spirit and charm. He therefore attracted lots of friends and patrons willing to support his free spirit as an expressive artist. Beauford managed to meet, sketch, or paint a host of celebrities. By 1929, Beauford had moved to Harlem, New York. The HARLEM RENAISSANCE was in full bloom. Beauford got to know COUNTEE CULLEN, W.E.B. DUBOIS, LOUIS ARMSTRONG, DUKE ELLINGTON, ETHEL WATERS, HENRY MILLER, and JAMES BALDWIN, to name a few. Beauford did work as part of the Harlem Artists Guild and worked at the studio of CHARLES ALSTON. It was at GREENWICH VILLAGE where he got to feel totally at home with the people and other artists. In the late 1950's, Beauford was able to reach PARIS, FRANCE due to the beneficence of a friend. Although many of Beauford Delaney's works were close to being classified as abstract art, he never fully wanted this distinction. Beauford Delaney's life and struggle as an aging American artist living in Paris ended at age 78 from alcoholism and Alzheimer's Disease on March 26, 1979. The "Dean of African-American Artists Living in Europe" was buried in his favorite place -- PARIS, FRANCE.

Some of his notable works include:

  • PORTRAIT OF A MAN, pastel, 1943
  • ABSTRACTION, oil, 1938
  • PORTRAIT OF HOWARD SWANSON, oil, 1967
  • PORTRAIT OF DARTHEA SPEYER, oil, 1966
  • PORTRAIT OF JEAN GENET, oil, 1970
  • UNTITLED, oil on canvas, 1946
  • GREENE STREET, oil, 1951
  • Pictures at the National Museum of American Art


RICHMOND BARTHE
Sculptor (1901-1989)

Richmond Barthe's early life was spent in the towns of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, St. Martinsville, and New Orleans, Louisiana. In his early days, Richmond took to drawing and painting watercolor scenes. By age 22, he traveled to Chicago and began formal art training at the SCHOOL of the ART INSTITUTE in Chicago. Under the influence of ARCHIBALD J. MOTLEY, JR. and Charles Schroeder, Richmond decided that his talent and spiritual direction were more suited to becoming a sculptor. Richmond Barthe felt at ease with modeling figures and faces from clay. Barthe captivated the art world by producing sculptures and busts of African American subjects as never before seen. His creative approach to African Americans as portraits in stone and bronze received numerous acclaims in the art world. For over sixty years, Richmond Barthe produced works reflecting portraits and racial situations of African Americans. His subjects were mixed from movement (THE BOXER, 1943) to pioneers such as George Washington Carver (1946) and Booker T. Washington (1946). Two of his sculptures: The BLACKBERRY WOMAN (1932) and the AFRICAN DANCER (1933), were purchased by the Whitney Museum of American Art. His 1939 exhibit at the Arden Galleries in New York helped him to get recognition and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1940 and 1941. With all his fame, Richmond Barthe never reached the financial security necessary and commensurate with his great work as an African American sculptor. With the help of the actor, James Garner of The Rockford Files, and Esther Jones, Barthe's final days of his life were made easier. After Richmond Barthe's death in 1989, James Garner turned over the remaining works of Barthe to the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles and the Schomberg Center in New York.

Some of his notable works include:

  • PORTRAIT OF HAROLD JACKSON, charcoal and pastel on paper, 1929
  • BLACKBERRY WOMAN, bronze, 1932
  • AFRICAN DANCER, bronze, 1933
  • FERAL BENGA, bronze, 1937
  • PAUL ROBESON AS OTHELLO, bronze, 1975
  • THE BOXER, bronze, 1943
  • THE NEGRO LOOKS AHEAD, plaster, 1940


JOSEPH DELANEY
Painter, brother of Beauford Delaney (1904-1991)

Joseph Delaney, the younger brother of Beauford Delaney, for some unknown reason, never reached the popularity of his older brother Beauford. Joseph later commented that "Beauford and I were complete opposites; me, an introvert, and Beauford, an extrovert." Joseph worked at many odd jobs, but, by 1930, he also decided to become an artist. Joseph learned a lot when he came to New York to study at the ART STUDENTS LEAGUE. He met JACKSON POLLOCK there, but it was THOMAS HART BENTON'S profound impression of fostering American life via realistic scenes of people and landscapes that stuck in Delaney's mind. BENTON'S inclusion in his work of African-Americans also made Delaney feel a part of the American scene. Joseph Delaney enjoyed being an artist who could be free to create and paint scenes of people and life around New York, but, as the AMERICAN DEPRESSION worsened, he, like many artists of that day, developed survival techniques. Joseph Delaney took on commissioned works and did hundreds of portraits of the rich and famous. By 1936, he taught art under the auspices of the COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION. He also worked on a project with the Metropolitan Museum called the INDEX OF AMERICAN DESIGN. The charge of the museum was to paint and record American decorative art from the colonial days to 1900. Some of Joseph Delaney's most productive works were created in the late 1940's and through the late 1960's. Upon the death of his brother, Beauford, in 1979, Joseph went to Paris. He later brought back to America many of Beauford's works. Joseph left New York and returned to his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee an ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE at the University of Tennessee in 1985. He died in Knoxville in 1991.

Some of his notable works include:

  • HIS LAST KNOWN ADDRESS, oil, 1934
  • PENN STATION IN WARTIME, oil 1943
  • EAST RIVER, oil, 1944
  • WALDORF CAFETERIA, oil 1945
  • LOBBY OF THE ART LEAGUE, oil, 1965
  • DR. GLADYS GRAHAM, oil, 1969


CHARLES H. ALSTON
Muralist, Sculptor, and Painter (1907-1977)

Charles Alston's contributions to the visual arts spanned over fifty years. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. His father, Primus Priss Alston, was a prominent Episcopalian minister and educator in Charlotte. Charles' early experience with creative arts started when he modelled animals and other creations from the red clay around his home. At age fourteen, Charles' talents emerged as art editor at DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City. In 1925, he entered Columbia University where he earned his B.A. and later a Master of Fine Arts on a Arthur Wesley Dow Fellowship. His first creative project was an illustration of Langston Hughes' Weary Blues. Alston's stellar achievements included his works as a teacher of young African-American boys. One of his star pupils was JACOB LAWRENCE, one of America's foremost artists. Alston's works included his experiences and contact with Dr. Alain L. Locke the historian, Diego Rivera the Mexican Muralist, and his interest in the Post-Impressionist and Cubist movements. Alston's Afrocentric murals designed for New York City's Harlem Hospital created a public controversy, but, with community support, they were eventually installed. Alston's work took on many expressions and included paintings, sculptures, cartoons, and murals. His paintings have been purchased and hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Some of his notable works include:

  • GIRL IN A RED DRESS, oil, 1934
  • MAGIC AND MEDICINE, oil, 1937
  • EXPLORATION AND COLONIZATION (1537-1850), oil, mural


ALLAN ROHAN CRITE
Painter and Illustrator (1910- )

Allan Crite is a native of Plainfield, New Jersey, but his parents moved the family to Boston, Massachusetts when Allan was still a young boy. Allan's interest in art centered around his wanting to capture the dynamics of the people and places located in his community of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Crite received his formal art training at Boston University, the Massachusetts School of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, and at Harvard University. Crite was a role model and professional who helped to direct up and coming artists on the importance of depicting local or "neighborhood" scenes in their artistic creations. Crite wanted to show the vitality and importance of life in the city. He also depicted in his works themes of "joy" and "sorrow" as they relate to daily living in the black community. By the late 1930's, Crite directed his talents to creating religious scenes. One of his greatest works, THREE SPIRITUALS, was later published in a book under the title, THREE SPIRITUALS FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN (1948). Some of his works can be found in the Chapel at M.I.T., Grace Church, Martha's Vineyard, and Holy Cross Church in Morrisville, Vermont. His paintings of "neighborhood" scenes are now prized as historical records for the city of Boston.
Pictures at the National Museum of American Art


ROMARE BEARDEN
Artist and Painter (1914-1988)

Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, but his early childhood was spent in Harlem, New York. His exposure to living in the big city was later reflected in his artwork. He attended Boston University but later transferred to New York University and graduated in 1935. Because of his mother's prominence as a founder of the Negro Women's Democratic Association, Romare decided to use his talents as a political cartoonist for the BALTIMORE AFRO-AMERICAN while studying with the ART STUDENTS LEAGUE of Baltimore. As a student, he studied under the world renowned George Grosz, painter and cartoonist. After serving in the U.S. Army, Bearden used his G.I. Bill to study in Paris, France. He became an acquaintance of Matisse and Miro and started to study literature, philosophy, and world art. Bearden, upon his return to the United States, began working as a cartoonist and songwriter. During the 1960's, he became very socially conscious of the status of African-Americans and the events of the Civil Rights Movement. Romare Bearden took one step forward and decided to take his need to express his artistic talent by using the COLLAGE. It is said that "Bearden's revolutionary use of the COLLAGE led to his recognition as a modern master." His works appeared in major shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and he exhibited in galleries throughout Europe, Japan, and the U.S.A. In 1987, he was awarded the NATIONAL METAL OF ARTS by President Ronald Reagan. Before he expired in 1988, Romare co-authored with Harry Henderson, A HISTORY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTISTS, FROM 1792 TO THE PRESENT, published by Pantheon Books, New York (see exhibit case).

Some of his notable works include:


ELIZABETH CATLETT
Sculptor and Printmaker (1915- )

Elizabeth Catlett would not separate her art from the people. She felt she had to express her talents via the reality and struggle of her people. She therefore brings to the art world a social consciousness in the reflections of her art pieces. Elizabeth Catlett was born in Washington D.C. She passed a competitive exam for entry to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1932, but was refused into its school of art due to her race. She therefore entered Howard University and studied for one year under LOIS MAILOU JONES to become a textile designer. She changed her major to PAINTING when she discovered what concepts and messages could be conveyed in this form of art. The concepts which were conveyed in the Mexican Muralists were the turning point in her dedication to Socialist expressive art. Upon graduation with honors from Howard University in 1937, Elizabeth Catlett went on to the State University of Iowa. At IOWA, she studied under GRANT WOOD (artist of AMERICAN GOTHIC and DAUGHTERS OF REVOLUTION). Wood encouraged her "to paint what we knew most intimately." Catlett was the first student to receive a M.F.A. degree from the State University of Iowa in 1940. Her master's thesis, MOTHER AND CHILD, won the AMERICAN NEGRO EXHIBITION in Chicago in 1940. In her career and travels, Elizabeth Catlett was able to spread her knowledge and increase her fame. Her work was exhibited around the world in Mexico City, Paris, Prague, Tokyo, Beijing, Berlin, and Havana. Her outdoor sculptures were being set up in Jackson, Mississippi, New Orleans, Louisiana, Washington D.C., and New York City. She served as chairman of the Art Department at DILLARD UNIVERSITY in New Orleans. At the same time, she married the respected African-American artist, CHARLES WHITE. She and Charles White later taught art at HAMPTON INSTITUTE in Virginia in the early 1940's. Out of the Hampton experience came JOHN BIGGERS, one of America's top African-American artists. The sharing of ideas concerning the direction of African-American artists and art was often communicated with artist and professor, HALE WOODRUFF of SPELMAN COLLEGE in Atlanta, Georgia. Elizabeth Catlett's expressive art pieces won her eight major prizes for her exhibited works. The AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT of the 1960's eventually convinced Catlett to settle permanently in Cuernavaca, Mexico. After her divorce from Charles White, she married Mexican artist, FRANCISCO MORA. Today she is considered one of Mexico's top artists.

Some of her notable works include:

  • SHARECROPPER, woodcut, 1970
  • PENSIVE, bronze, 1946
  • NEGRO ES BELLO, lithograph, 1968
  • MALCOLM SPEAKS TO US, linocut, 1969
  • SINGING HEAD, marble, 1970
  • HOMAGE TO MY YOUNG BLACK SISTERS, cedar wood, 1968


ELDZIER CORTOR
Painter, Artist, Lithographer, and Printmaker (1916- )

Cortor was born in Richmond, Virginia, but his parents moved to Chicago a year later in 1917. Cortor's early interest in comic strips made him aware of communication via drawing. His discovery of the Chicago Defender's "Bungleton Green," a black comic strip, helped him to escalate his talent at creating his own comic characters. While a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Cortor worked with a fellow classmate, CHARLES WHITE. White later became one of America's best known African-American graphic artists. For Cortor he was seeking to find himself as an artist in the purity of his total experiences. His formal training was done at the CHICAGO ART INSTITUTE. Cortor credits Kathleen Blackshear for his introduction to the world of African art. Blackshear also helped and encouraged Cortor so that his skills could qualify for employment in the WPA ART PROJECT of the 1930's and 40's. Cortor was later able to travel on a GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP to Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti. He was extremely impressed with the Haitian people and the many expressions of their African customs and art. This freedom of being an artist who could express art from an Afrocentric viewpoint truly impressed Cortor. With the help from a JULIUS ROSENWALD FUND FELLOWSHIP in 1940, Cortor was able to visit and study the customs of the "GULLAH" people of the SEA ISLAND off the coast of South Carolina. Cortor was able to focus his attention to these isolated African-Americans, and he depicted and projected their ways in his drawings and paintings. Cortor's extreme talents lie in his interpretation of the collective images and past events in the Black American experience. He was one of the first African-American artists to project the beauty of isolated events and richness in the lives of African-Americans. He paid tribute to American boxers, dancers, and even a special focus on the black woman.

Some of his notable works include:

  • MAN WITH A SICKLE, colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink, 1945
  • DANCE COMPOSITION VIII, oil, 1970
  • DANCE COMPOSITION NO. 35, etching, 1981
  • AMERICANA, oil, 1946
  • CLASSICAL STUDY NO. 34, oil, 1971
  • CLASSICAL STUDY NO. 34: WOMAN WITH A TOWEL, oil, 1979
  • STILL LIFE: SOUVENIR IV, oil, 1982
  • STILL LIFE: PAST REVISITED, oil, 1973
  • Pictures at the National Museum of American Art


JACOB LAWRENCE
Painter, Artist, Educator (1917-2000)

At age 82, Jacob Lawrence was considered to be "the most widely praised African-American artist of the 20th century." As an African-American in the visual arts, his work had carried him to the pinnacle of success and fame.

Jacob Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1917. At the age of two, his parents moved the family to Easton, Pennsylvania. Hard times and lack of ample work caused his parents to separate. By 1927, Jacob, his brother William, and sister Geraldine were temporarily moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and were put up in foster care while his mom, Rose Lee Lawrence, looked for work in New York. Three years later, she went back to Philadelphia and brought the three children to live in Harlem, New York. Mrs. Lawrence's greatest fear was that Jacob would be drawn into a street gang, therefore she enrolled him in an after school arts program in the basement of the 135th Street branch of the public library. Here, Jacob Lawrence came in contact with two notable African-American artists: JAMES LESENE WELLS, painter and program director and, later, Professor of Art at Howard University, and CHARLES ALSTON, muralist, sculptor, painter, and graduate of Columbia University. Alston later organized the UTOPIA NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER, and Jacob Lawrence joined the CENTER. Jacob experimented with many types of creative patterns in art, especially those depicting people and neighborhood scenes. High school was extremely frustrating for Jacob, therefore he stopped attending and immersed himself in art to alleviate his anxiety and frustration. At age 19, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and traveled to Middletown, New York. Upon learning that his early mentor, CHARLES ALSTON, was teaching a part of the government's WPA program, Jacob returned to New York City. Again Jacob was fortunate to meet people with artistic talent and educational knowledge. Among them were AUGUSTA SAVAGE, JAMES WELDON JOHNSON, CLAUDE MCKAY, COUNTEE CULLEN, ALAIN LOCKE, ELTON FAX, and Professor CHARLES SEIFERT, who taught African-American History at the 135th Street public library.

Professor SEIFERT'S lectures inspired Jacob Lawrence to focus more on the historical development and struggle of people from African descent. At this point in time, Jacob Lawrence decided to put his mind to work on stories and narratives in order to create expressive paintings depicting these historical happenings. Over the years, Jacob Lawrence did just that. He used his canvas as a vehicle for making statements on FREEDOM, DIGNITY, STRUGGLE, and DAILY LIFE among the African-American peoples. Jacob Lawrence was able to take complex issues and subjects and transpose these into expressive moods with bold, bright color scenes. Art critics have called him a "BLACK MODERNIST" because of his fusion of PRIMITIVE, EUROPEAN, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN vignette. Lawrence also utilized Expressionism, Cubism, and African Art designs in his paintings.

His prolific works include some of the following:

  • STREET ORATOR, 1936
  • BAR N' GRILL, 1937
  • CLINIC, 1937
  • MIGRATIONS OF THE NEGRO, a group of 60 gouache panels, 1937-1938
  • TOUSSAINT L'OVERTURE, 41 paintings in the series, 1938
  • ...AND THE MIGRANTS KEPT COMING, 60 panels in the Historical Migration Series of African-Americans from the South, 1940-1941
  • JOHN BROWN'S BODY, 1941
  • LIFE OF HARRIET TUBMAN, 40 panels, 1942
  • NEGRO MIGRATION NORTHWARD IN WORLD WAR, 60 panels, 1942
  • THIS IS HARLEM, 30 paintings in the Harlem Series, 1942-1943
  • THE LIBRARIES ARE APPRECIATED, from the Harlem Series, 1943
  • THE LOVERS, 1946
  • IN THE GARDEN, 1950
  • STRUGGLE: FROM THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, 30 in the series covering all subjects dealing with American history, 1955-1956
  • PARADE, 1960
  • PRAYING MINISTERS, 1962
  • DAYBREAK - A TIME TO REST, 1967
  • MAN WITH SQUARE, from the Builders Series (1978-1980), 1978
  • BUILDERS, original on gouache paper, (see exhibit), 1980
  • HIROSHIMA, 1982
  • BOY WITH KITE, 1983
  • Pictures at the National Museum of American Art

Jacob Lawrence defined his art as coming from his experiences and visual views of life encounters. His limited formal art training carried him through the HARLEM RENAISSANCE ERA, the 1960's CIVIL RIGHTS ERA, and on to living through the 1990's. Very little is published about his personal life. He did marry, in July 1941, to Gwendolyn Knight, a talented painter, and served in the U. S. COAST GUARD in 1943 where he did a series of paintings. Except for a short bout with a near nervous breakdown, requiring hospitalization, Jacob Lawrence kept on striving to do what he knew best - that is painting. Jacob Lawrence's accolades were enormous. He was the first artist to win the NAACP'S SPINGARN MEDAL in 1970. He was awarded several fellowships, including the ROSENWALD and GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIPS. He was member of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND LETTERS and has taught at PRATT INSTITUTE in New York City. He served as head of the Art Department at the University of Washington in Seattle and is presently PROFESSOR EMERITUS there. His works are probably known by more museums than any other African-American visual artist. Today, his works are among the collections found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art. He died on June 10, 2000. A recent tribute to Lawrence's legacy: "Over the line: the art and life of Jacob Lawrence" (New York Times, 24, November 4, 2001) at the Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Ave at 75th St) ran from November 8, 2001 to February 3, 2002.


JOHN T. BIGGERS
Muralist (1924-2001)

The astounding world of John T. Biggers began 76 years ago near Crowders Mountain in the town of Gastonia, North Carolina. His prolific career as a visual artist is nothing less than spectacular. John Biggers wanted, as an artist, to experience it all. He became a muralist, draftsman, sculptor, lithographer, and a painter using an array of different mediums. Added to this, he became a philosopher and teacher of the arts. His interpretation of the African-American experience is said "to possess an uncommon intensity of the soul." While a student at Hampton Institute (Virginia) in 1941, Biggers took a drawing class with Prof. Viktor Lowenfeld, a Jewish immigrant from Nazi Germany. Prof. Lowenfeld also taught Biggers about racial prejudice and oppression during his course. This helped Biggers in his decision toward becoming a future artist and teacher by emphasizing his known African heritage. Prof. Lowenfeld also brought to Hampton Institute two inspirational and talented black artists named CHARLES WHITE, painter, and ELIZABETH CATLETT, sculptor. These role models set the pace for Bigger's motivation and career as an artist. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Biggers went on to earn a B.A. and M.A. at Penn State. The education of John Biggers by Charles White and Prof. Lowenfeld convinced him to become a muralist. He took on "the Mexican concept of the mural as an educational tool to inform an impoverished people of their history and to build their self-esteem." John Biggers began to take on art as an expressive subject dealing with beauty, dignity, and value in the world of African American people. Biggers went on to make art real by teaching it to future artists. In 1949, he established one of the few existing and exclusive art departments for African-American students at Texas Southern University in Houston. Biggers saw to it that his works and those of his students reflected the everyday life of people living and connecting to the world around them. As a tribute to the spirit of John Biggers, his THE ART OF JOHN BIGGERS: VIEW FROM THE UPPER ROOM toured five museums, ending in Boston, Mass. in April of 1997. He died in 2001 at the age of 76.

Some of his notable works include:


DAVID C. DRISKELL
Painter, Art Historian/Scholar, Art Collector, Curator, Educator, Art Consultant and Lecturer on the Study of the Visual Arts (1931- )

Being able to transcend your talent as a visual artist and to recognize the talent in other artists requires an exceptional person with extreme insights. Few people in the art world can claim the eclectic insights as those possessed by David C. Driskell. He started his career in the field of visual arts by developing a finely tuned listening ear which later helped him to focus in with a perceptive eye on what the importance of African and African-American art should be in the world of art from a historical context.

David C. Driskell was born in Edmonton, Georgia on June 7, 1931. He lived with his two older sisters and two creative parents until his eighteenth birthday. His father was a Baptist minister, but he was also skilled as a blacksmith and furniture maker. His mom was a creative basket and quilt maker. In 1936, his parents took the family to live in the rural outreach of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina. David received all of his grade school and high school education in the segregated school system of North Carolina. In 1951, he became the first member of his family to attend college. His choice was all-black Howard University in Washington, DC. It was said that David Driskell did not understand the usual admission procedure for college entrance, therefore "he brought in his high-school report card to Howard University" as his ticket for admission. Nevertheless, David Driskell was accepted and showed exceptional talent in the arts, whereby he was awarded a scholarship in the second semester of 1952 as a student of history and painting.

David Driskell was fortunate to enter the field of visual arts at a time when the early foundations were being laid out by an array of black professional artists who had chosen to teach visual arts with a certain zeal and dedication at many of the historically black colleges and universities. Howard University was in the forefront of this education, and David Driskell looked up to Professor James A. Porter (1905-1970) of the Howard Art Department as his inspiration and mentor. Professor Porter taught and showed David Driskell the works of Aaron Douglas (1899-1979) and Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937). He also learned that art history was extremely important since it could perpetuate the knowledge of exceptional talents exhibited by individual African-American artists not yet recognized in the established world of the visual arts. While at Howard, David Driskell came in contact with notable artists including: Romare Bearden (1914-1988), Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000), and Sam Gilliam (1933- ). David also talked with Dr. Alain L. Locke (1886-1954) while he was teaching philosophy at Howard University as a faculty member from 1912-1953. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, David Driskell met some of the early great visual artists, among them Charles White (1918-1979) and Elizabeth Catlett (1915- ). Another one of his teachers was the distinguished Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998). She was part of the art faculty at Howard from 1930-1977. He also worked with Mary Beattie Brady who ran the Harmon Foundation (1922-1967).

David Driskell graduated from Howard University with a BA in Fine Arts and took his first teaching job at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama from 1955-1961. In 1962, Mr. Driskell earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and returned to Howard University as an Associate Professor in the art department from 1962-1966. By 1966, Professor Driskell moved on to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee as chairperson of the university's art department. He filled the position of the notable "Dean" among fellow artists, Aaron Douglas (1899-1979), upon Douglas' retirement in 1966. As chairperson of the Fisk University Art Department, David Driskell was instrumental in securing, cataloging, and documenting the donated collection of Alfred Stieglitz as presented to the university by his wife, the famed artist Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986). The collection included a treasure of 101 works by Cézanne, Renoir, Stieglitz, and O'Keefe.

By 1972, the name David Driskell was connected with the knowledge of art pieces and their relationship to both American and world history. The National Museum of American Art (today known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum) at the Smithsonian Institution chose Professor Driskell to do a retrospective exhibit of the works of William H. Johnson (1901-1970) due to his knowledge and respect for Johnson's body of work.

In 1976, David Driskell curated his extremely popular and extensive traveling exhibit entitled "Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950," for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The showing included a valuable catalog which became a standard work in the field of art. The catalog included African-American visual artists along with slave artisans, women artists, and well known master artists. David Driskell did this "body of work" to show how talent could transcend race in the multiple expressions of artworks done by African-Americans who for years were typecast as black artists with restricted limitations as visual artists. Driskell knew they were black artists, but he wanted the world to embrace them for their fine craftsmanship and technique in the broad arena of highly skilled artisans.

By 1977, David Driskell moved to the University of Maryland at College Park as a professor of art. He became chairperson of the art department from 1978 through 1983. He continued teaching until his retirement in 1998. While at the University of Maryland, David Driskell narrated for CBS Television an hour long program entitled "Hidden Heritage," which earned him a special recognition from CBS. It was not known by many people in the art world, but David Driskell in 1977 became the personal curator and advisor to both Bill and Camille Cosby in the development of their private art collection. Some of the artwork seen on The Cosby Show also involved the chosen expertise of Mr. Driskell. Remember the final bid of $250,000 for Henry Ossawa Tanner's (1858-1937) "The Thankful Poor" (1894)? It was Driskell's secured bid at Sotheby's auction house which won that work for Mr. Cosby's private collection. Mr. Driskell also worked on the private collections of Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee.
Sand Dunes at Sunset President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton sought out David Driskell's advice which led to the purchase of the first work of art by an African-American artist for the permanent collection at the White House in 1996. The chosen work was Henry Ossawa Tanner's "Sand Dunes at Sunset: Atlantic City," completed by Tanner in 1885. The same year of 1996, David Driskell completed sixty-five stained glass windows which were installed in the De Forest Chapel at Talladega College in Alabama.

At age 69, David Driskell is still working to close the loop. His private collection is now on tour, entitled "Narratives of African-American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection," featuring 100 works by 61 artists, including Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Henry O. Tanner, William H. Johnson, and Augusta Savage. These works can be seen at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey through February 25, 2001. A second exhibit, "Echoes: The Art of David C. Driskell," featuring 28 works done by Mr. Driskell, will be shown at the Paul Robeson Gallery at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey until December 13, 2000.

Besides being on the lecture circuit as a visiting professor of art at such universities as Bowdoin College, Bates College, Lewiston College, Queens College of New York, and The University of Ife-Ife in Nigeria, Africa, Mr. Driskell enjoys a family life with his wife of forty-eight years and two grown daughters. As a collector of art, the Driskells say that they have collected many of their private works via purchase, but also by exchange or trading some of their works. Besides their Hyattsville, Maryland home, the Driskells own a house in New York and a summerhouse in Falmouth, Maine. It is said that the Driskells purchased the Falmouth house with the sale of one of their prints done by Vassily Kandinsky. David Driskell says that when he is not painting, he does gardening work or makes quilts in his leisure time.

David C. Driskell is indeed a giant among visual artists. His experiences and knowledge of art as a part of his life's work as a teacher and curator and artist has elevated him to a respectable position among his peers. His understanding and connection to African and African-American art has helped others to validate via his messages what the field of art has glossed over for years. David Driskell has been the recipient of ten honorary degrees from American Universities. He is well cited in countless bibliographies and numerous library websites.


FLOYD SAPP
Painter and Muralist (1938- )

Floyd Sapp is an established painter and muralist. His daughter, Maisha Sapp, is a senior here at C.W. Post. Maisha was delighted to see this exhibit and, therefore, provided this magnificent print of her father's original mural entitled THE ARCH OF BEAUTY.

Floyd Sapp was born in New Jersey and lived there until he finished the 10th grade. His family moved to New York where Floyd developed a greater interest in art. Floyd Sapp also used his exceptional talent as a portraitist and landscape painter. Later, he combined his themes in art with his natural ability as a poet. His vision of art and poetry is exemplified in his THE ARCH OF BEAUTY, which he dedicated to the "COMMUNITY". Mr. Sapp teaches art and African-American history. Maisha Sapp says he paints murals "in his spare time." Besides Maisha, Mr. Sapp lives with his wife and three other daughters in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Sapp operates his own studio in Brooklyn.


MUSEUMS AND ASSOCIATIONS

Recognition and a place to exhibit those art creations by African American artists have always presented a problem. Many African American visual artists along the way felt they had finally passed the ultimate test needed to produce worthy pieces of art. Suddenly, they had to make room for only the HIGH PROFILE ARTISTS being exhibited and recognized. Today that pattern has drastically changed with the interest in LOCAL HISTORY, MEMORABILIA, ARTIFACTS, FOLK ART, and the PRESERVATION OF ART as historical records. Talented visual artists can also work as book illustrators, commercial artists, photographers, and cartoonists in order to earn a living. The ultimate fait accompli in any visual artist's life is to have PLACES OF SHOW AND RECOGNITION. For the African American artists, those PLACES are with us now.

Here are a few:

Besides the museums and galleries, there are African-American support groups for visual artists. Among them are:

The African-American Visual Artists have indeed come full circle! The doors are open to the talented few who sacrifice to become framers of time and events. They bring us beauty and also pain via their works. This exhibit is a tribute to their creative expressions.


FOR FURTHER READING

Topics


Individual Artists



African American Art

Internet Resources

African American art: the long struggle / Crystal A. Britton. New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1996.

African-American art and artists / Samella Lewis. [s.l.]: University of California Press, 2nd revised edition, 1990.

African-American artists, 1880-1987: Selections from the Evans-Tibbs Collection. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1989.

"African-American artists' passionate visions: Generations rediscovering authenticity." Lowery Stokes Sims. American Visions, April/May 1994, p. 20-26.

"African American women in the business of art." Shea Thomas. Network Journal, 9(7):20-21, May 2004. About women as founders of an art gallery and as producers of artworks taken from a woman's point of view.

African-Americans: Voices of triumph: Creative fire, "Section 4: The visual artists: Bounty from gifted hands." Richmond, Va: Time-Life Books, 1994.

Afro-American art and craft / Judith Wragg Chase. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1971.

The Afro-American artist: A search for identity / Elsa Honig Fine. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1973.

The Afro-American tradition in decorative arts / John Michael Vlach. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978.

"Art on the half shell." Melanie Payne. American Visions, June/July 1994, p. 18-20.

"Artists salute Dr. King's vision." Gary Puckrein, editor. American Visions, February 1987, p. 42-44.

"Best-selling Black artists." Ebony, 53(12), October 1998, p. 148-150, 152, 154, 156.

"Black artists at home in postwar Paris: An art view." Michael Kimmelman. New York Times: Sunday Art Section, February 18, 1996, p. 39-40.

"Black creativity: On the cutting edge." Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Time, October 10, 1994, p. 74-75.

 A century of African American art : the Paul R. Jones Collection / Amalia K. Amaki, editor. Newark, DE : University of Delaware. University Museum ; New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 2004. [This book is a collector's catalog dealing with the history and mission of Paul R. Jones, collector of African American art. Paul R. Jones, for thirty-five years, sought out paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures done by African American artists. Today that collection numbers over 1,500 plus art works and is considered one of the world's largest private collections done by African American artists. Many of the artists are well established and recognized in the art world, but many are not. Jones discovered that these talented African Americans need recognition. Today they can be seen at the one stop museum at the University of Delaware due to his efforts.]

"Defacing history." Michele Wallace. Art in America, December 1990, p. 120-129, 184-186.

"The dictator of discipline, superhero 'Brotherman.'" Rochelle Riley. Emerge, February 1991, p. 24.

FIRE!! A quarterly devoted to the younger Negro artists: Volume one, number one, November 1926 [reprint] / Wallace Thurman, editor. Westport, CT: Negro University Press, 1970.

A history of African-American artists from 1792 to the present / Romare Bearden and Harry Henderson. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

Negro artists: An illustrated review of their achievements: April 22 - May 4, 1935 / Harmon Foundation and the Delphic Studios. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1935, 1971.

The Negro in art : a pictorial record of the Negro artist and of the Negro theme in art / edited and annotated by Alain Locke. New York : Hacker Art Books, 1979.

"Passion and power: Books about black artists" [a bibliography]. Donna Seaman. Booklist, (Black History Month issue), February 15, 1993, p. 1042-1043.

"PORTFOLIO: Various media - Always with a message." Anthony C. Murphy. American Visions, August/September 1994, p. 20-28.

"Seeing and thinking about the unexpected in American Art" / Richard J. Powell. American Visions, 14(1): 22-26, February/March 1999.

Seventeen black artists / Elton C. Fax. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1971

"What Africa is to me: The ancestral legacy in contemporary African-American art." Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold. Crisis, October 1990, p. 7, 51.



African Art

African art [from the Barbier-Mueller Collection, Geneva] / Werner Schmalenbach, editor. Munich, Germany: Prestel-Verlag Publishers, 1988.

African art in motion / Robert Farris Thompson. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1974, 1979.

African canvas / Margaret Courtney-Clarke. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1990.

Art/artifacts: African art in anthropology collections / published in conjunction with the exhibit organized by The Center for African Art. New York: te Neues Publishing Company, 1988.

Black art - Ancestral legacy: National tour December 3, 1990 - January 28, 1991 / Dallas Museum of Art. [s.l.]: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1989.

Black Portrait of an African journey / Paul Collins. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Elerdmans Publishing Company, 1971.

"Defining African art : primitive Negro sculpture and the aesthetic philosophy." Christa Clarke. African Arts, 36(1):40-51&92-93, Spring 2003. This very scholarly article focuses on the creative purposes of African sculpture with a closer look at its purity of intent. Too often these sculptures were evaluated upon the basic aesthetics coming from western cultures. The label of "primitive art" pieces were often part of this comparative view which sometimes made these art pieces seem simple or not worthy of being classified among the finer pieces of art in the international art collectors market. The article explains, defines, and provides examples behind the reasons for the creation of these African sculptures, adding to the scholarship and understanding of these art pieces.

Discoveries: African art from the Smiley Collection / Anita J. Glaze. [s.l.]: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Krannert Art Museum, 1989.

"Divining Africa : A Met exhibit shows how art and the divine combine." Ariella Budick. Newsday, B3, May 4, 2000.

"The eyes of understanding : Kongo Minkisi" / Wyatt MacGaffey. In Astonishment and power, introduction by Sylvia H. Williams and David C. Driskell. Washington, DC : Published for the National Museum of African Art by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.

Folk art of black Africa / Marcel Griaule. New York; Paris: Tudor Publishing Company, 1950.

"France's magical ice age art : Chauvet Cave." Jean Clottes. National Geographic, 200(2):104-121, August 2001. [An astounding account of art as depicted by a discovery in 1994 of a far reaching hidden cave located in southern France. It is a reflection on how far back mankind has attempted to capture, via art, expressions of what they saw in their environment. Radiocarbon dating of these drawings, paintings, and engravings were done to establish a time period. The art scenes were dated as 35,000 calendar years, making them in the annals of art history the earliest ever found.]

Icons, ideals and power in the art of Africa / Herbert M. Coe. Washington, DC: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.

"Looting Africa : theft, illicit sales, poverty and war are conspiring to rob a continent of its rich artistic heritage." Time, 158(4):50-52, July 30, 2001.

Nigerian images: the splendor of African sculpture / William Fagg. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963.

Royal art of Benin: The Perls Collection / Kate Ezra [exhibited January 16 through September 13, 1992]. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992.

"To the curator go the spoils: The royal art of Benin." Amei Wallach. Newsday: Sunday Fanfare Section, January 19, 1992, p. 21, 39.

"What Africa is to me: The ancestral legacy in contemporary African-American art." Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold. Crisis, October 1990, p. 7, 51.



Artists - Alonzo Adams

"Passion on palette : it is in art that Alonzo Adams finds the essence of life in its truest form." Angela P. Moore-Thorpe. Upscale, 13(4):76,78, December/January 2002. [a look at the life of Alonzo Adams, his work, mentors, and Foundation established in 1977 to help budding and promising minority students in the visual arts.]



Artists - Edward Mitchell Bannister

Edward Mitchell Bannister, 1828-1901 / Corrine Jennings. New York: Abrams, 1992.



Artists - Romare Bearden

 "A Beardon boom citywide." Ariella Budick. Newsday, B3, October 19, 2004. [List of exhibits and events.]

 "Heritage watch : celebrating the work of Romare Beardon." Africana Heritage, 4(4):4-5,9. [About the activities sponsored by the Romare Beardon Foundation and its homecoming celebration for Romare Beardon from September 2004 - March 2005. The news article covers an enlightening biography and other information about his art pieces and places of show.]

 "A pioneer, a master : Romare Bearden, whose genius is apparent in a new Whitney show, moved African Americans from the fringes to the center of western art." Ariella Budick. Newsday, B1-B3, B9, October 19, 2004.

"Portrait of an artist." Romare Bearden and Harry Henderson. The Rhode Islander Magazine, December 12, 1993, p. 12-13, +19.

Romare Bearden: His life and art / Myron Schwartzman. New York: Abrams, 1990.



Artists - John Biggers

"Bigger than life" / Rosalyn Story. Emerge, 9(1): 58-62, October 1997.
[about John Biggers' life and work.]

A child's view of the art of John Biggers / Alvia Wardlaw. Houston, TX: Museum of Fine Arts, 1995.

"Farewell: Biggers." Roland S. Martin. Savoy, 1(4):46, May 2001.

"John T. Biggers (1924-2001)." Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 31:130, Spring 2001.

"John T. Biggers, 76, painted African-American life scenes." Newsday, A51, January 31, 2001. [Obituary]

"Renowned artist John Biggers succumbs at 76." Jet, 99(9):51, February 12, 2001.



Artists - Robert Blackburn

Bob Blackburn's printmaking workshop: the artists of color / Noah Jemison; forward by Kay Walkingstick. New York: The Printmaking Workshop, 1991.

"Millennium Portrait: Robert Blackburn" / Edmund Barry Gaither. American Visions, 15(1): 22-30, February/March 2000.
[Printmaker]

"Robert Blackburn, 82, master printmaker." Merle English. Newsday, A41, April 24, 2003. [Obituary.]



Artists - Hawkins Bolden

"Hawkins Bolden" / J. Scott Ogden. Folk Art, 26(3): 32-39, Fall 2001.



Artists - Rodgers Boykin

"Rodgers Boykin : Renaissance artist for the new millenium" / Beryl Dakers. The New Crisis, 107(3): 43-45, May/June 2000. [about the talents of artist Rodgers B. Boykin.]



Artists - Selma Burke

"Selma Burke turning on a dime." Lester Sloan. Emerge Magazine, February 1993, p. 76.

"Without color." [about Selma Bruke, sculptor] Harry Schwalb. Art News, 93:27, September 1994.



Artists - Elizabeth Catlett

"Elizabeth Catlett: a life in art and politics" / Lowery Stokes Sims. American Visions, 13(2): 20-25, April/May 1998.

"Elizabeth Catlett: Dean of women artists. Prolific sculptor and print maker creates art for 'cultural advance.'" Lynn Norment. Ebony, April 1993, p. 46, 48-50.



Artists - Allen E. Cole

"Somebody somewhere wants your photograph" [The works of photographer, Allen E. Cole]. D. L. Beavers. Legacy, February/March 1995, p. 40-45.



Artists - Robert Colescott

 "Back to front : Michael Lobel on Robert Colescott." Michael Lobel. Artforum, 43(2):266-269, 306, 310, October 2004.



Artists - Paul Collins

Black Portrait of an African journey / Paul Collins. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Elerdmans Publishing Company, 1971.



Artists - Roy DeCarava

"Masterful American photographer Roy DeCarava." Fern Robinson. American Visions, vol. 14, no. 6, December/January 2000, p. 20-24.

"Photography as art: A DeCarava portfolio." American Visions, June 1988, p. 10-15.



Artists - Thornton Dial

"The world of Thornton Dial." Jenifer P. Borum. Folk Art, Winter 1993, p. 34-39.



Artists - David Driskell

"Shaping the story of black art." Pamela Newkirk. Art News, 99(5):198-201, May 2000. [The son of a Georgia sharecropper, artist David Driskell has become the worlds leading curator, collector and scholar of works by African-Americans]



Artists - William Edmonson

"A craft nurtured in limestone: Edmonson at American Folk Art after 63 years" / Senemeh.t Sasen Aat. The Network Journal, 7(10): 30, July/August, 2000. [about William Edmonson (1854-1951) who died at age 97.]

"Extraordinary sculpture discovered once again" / Ariella Budick. Newsday, B39, May 26, 2000.
[Artist William Edmondson]

"William Edmondson." Jack L. Lindsey. Folk Art, Spring 1995, p. 43-47.



Artists - Minnie Evans

"Minnie Evans and Me." Nina Howell Starr. Folk Art, Winter 1994, p. 50-57.



Artists - Tom Feelings

"Feelings evoked by the brutal middle passage" [Tom Feelings work covering 64 paintings for his book, The Middle Passage]. Victoria Valentine. Emerge Magazine, October 1995, p. 74-75.



Artists - Meta Warrick Fuller

"The genius of Meta Warrick Fuller." Kathy A. Perkins. Black American Literature Forum, Spring 1990, p. 65-72.



Artists - Isaac Scott Hathaway

"Isaac Scott Hathaway : artist and teacher." [Issac Scott Hathaway]. Negro History Bulletin, 21(4):78-81, January 1958.

Isaac Scott Hathaway (1874-1967), sculptor / Odelia Walker and Kendrick Moore. Pine Bluff, AR : Department of Art, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, 1996.



Artists - Leroy Henderson

"Being where I thought I should be : Leroy Henderson has devoted more than 30 years to capturing intimate scenes of the black experience." Audry Peterson. American Legacy, 7(2):74-80, Summer 2001. [About the work of Leroy Henderson, including some of his prized photographs.]



Artists - William H. Johnson

"Priceless: A look at the value of an African-American artist's work - to his family, and to the museum that possesses it" [William H. Johnson]. Deborah Barfield. Newsday, September 8, 1998, p. B6-B8.



Artists - Joshua Johnston

Joshua Johnston: Freeman and early American painter. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society, 1987.



Artists - Eddie Kendrick

"A spiritual journey: the art of Eddie Kendrick." Alice Rae Yelen. Heritage: The Magazine of the New York State Historical Association, 16(3):4-15, Spring 2000. [A self-taught artist whose work was discovered in 1977 while he was working as a school custodian. Includes many full page reproductions.]



Artists - Simmie Knox

"Portraying history." Betsy Peoples. New Crisis, 109(3):45-48, May/June 2002. [About Simmie Knox, a first among African American Portrait painters. He is credited with being the first artist to paint the official portrait of a U.S. president - William Jefferson Clinton. Among his other portraits are those of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including many other celebrated individuals in history, education, and the arts.]

"White House portraits of President Clinton and First Lady by Simmie Knox unveiled; first painted by a black artist." Jet, 106(1):34-36, July 5, 2004.



Artists - Lois Mailou Jones

"A canvas in black: Two pioneering painters who broke through the color line" [rediscovering Lois Mailou Jones and Hughie Lee-Smith]. Sherry L. Howard. Emerge Magazine, vol. 7, no. 2, November 1995.

The life and art of Lois Mailou Jones / Tritobia Hayes Benjamin. New York: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1995.



Artists - Edward Laning

"Memoirs of a WPA painter." Edward Laning. American Heritage, October 1970, vol. 21, no. 6, p. 38-57, 86-89.



Artists - Raymond Lark

The Raymond Lark traveling exhibition : paintings, master drawings, original prints / Raymond Lark ; text by Edward Smith. [s.l. : s.n.], 2003. [includes biography, commentary, and bibliography.]



Artists - Jacob Lawrence

"Acclaimed artist Jacob Lawrence succumbs at 82." Jet, 98(3): 16-17, June 26, 2000.

"The best democracy I've known: it existed aboard a millionaire's yacht converted for service in World War II, an experiment in integrating the military" / Mike Tidwell. American Legacy, 6(2): 30-40, Summer 2000.
[Artist Jacob Lawrence was among the crew. Marjorie Merriweather Post lent the yacht to the government for one dollar a year. Includes paintings.]

"Jacob Lawrence, 1917-2000." David C. Driskell. Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 29:32-33, Autumn 2000.

Jacob Lawrence, American painter / Ellen Harkins Wheat. Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1986.

"Jacob Lawrence, Chronicler of the Black American experience." Ellen Harkins Wheat. American Visions, February 1987, p. 31-35.

"[Jacob Lawrence exhibit tours]." New York Times, 26, May 27, 2001. [The Phillips Collection, May 27-Aug 19, 2001. The Detroit Institute of arts, Feb 23-May 19, 2002. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 16- Sept 8, 2002. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX, Oct 6, 2002-Jan 5, 2003.]

"Jacob Lawrence is dead at 82; vivid painter who chronicled odyssey of Black Americans" / Holland Cotter. New York Times: Obituaries, A13, June 10, 2000.

"Jacob Lawrence: keep on movin." Richard J. Powell. American Art, 15(1):90-93, Spring 2001. [It is another look in retrospect at Lawrence's Migration Series (1940-1941) and a comparative look at the same theme as depicted in a photo taken of Caribbean migrants (1956). It is an analysis of the pride of a people on the move seeking a place to make a better life. An excellent photograph of Jacob Lawrence by Peter A. Juley is captured in this article.]

Jacob Lawrence, The Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman Series of 1938-40 / Ellen Harkins Wheat. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991.

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series / edited by Elizabeth Hutton Turner. Washington DC: The Rappahannock Press in Association with The Phillips Collection, 1993.

"Making the world anew." Suzanne Ramljak. New York Times Book Review, 21, March 11, 2001. [Review of The Complete Jacob Lawrence.]

"The melting pot: Its most difficult test, The IMMIGRANT WITHIN" [Illustrations of nine tempera paintings by JACOB LAWRENCE]. Bernard Weisberger. American Heritage, vol. 22, no. 1, December 1970, p. 32-39.

"Over the line: the art and life of Jacob Lawrence." New York Times, 24, November 4, 2001. [National tour at the Whitney Museum of Art, Nov 8, 2001 - Feb 2, 2002.]

"Real life, true color : the art of Jacob Lawrence." The New Crisis, 108(4):55-58, July/August 2001. [color photos of his works, including the national tour schedule of his works starting May 2001 and ending on January 5, 2003.]

"Remembering Jacob Lawrence : a work in progress." Mary Voboril. Newsday, Part 2, B6-B7, October 8, 2001. [It is about Lawrence and the preservation of his ideas and works as an artist. The name of the place, when established, will be called the Lawrence Institute for Contemporary Art and Ideas. It will be a home "for emerging artists in the 20-something age group or those making the transition between school and career".]

"Simplicity can be complicated: Jacob Lawrence found emotional authenticity in art and life" / Michael Kimmelman. New York Times: The Arts, E1, E3, June 14, 2000.

"Stanzas from a black epic: The 60 paintings in Jacob Lawrence's great Migration series present piercing images of the African-American experience." Robert Hughes. Time, November 22, 1993, p. 70-71.



Artists - Hughie Lee-Smith

"A canvas in black: Two pioneering painters who broke through the color line" [rediscovering Lois Mailou Jones and Hughie Lee-Smith]. Sherry L. Howard. Emerge Magazine, vol. 7, no. 2, November 1995.

"Hughie Lee-Smith, 83, a painter of spare, bleak scenes touched with mystery." [obituary] Holland Cotter. New York Times Biographical Service, 30(3):370, March 1999.



Artists - Whitfield Lovell

"Whispers from the walls." Audry Peterson. American Legacy, 8(1):21-28, Spring 2002. [About the spirit of persons depicted on the wooden walls and the creation of outstanding three dimentional life-like drawings, done by artist Whitfield Lovell, as visionary portraits of the past.]

"A world in one room." Nancy Princenthal. Art in America, 89(5):150-153, May 2001. [The article covers the traveling exhibit entitled "Whispers from the Walls" by artist Whitfield Lovell. (Mr. Lovell brings you inside the world of a rural residence in the deep south of the 1920s. His amazing talent as an artist is revealed in the charcoal drawings on the cabin walls of African Americans as they could have lived in the homes of that period. They blend into the interior of the furnishing and items in the cabin, giving it a sense of time and space.) A list of places where this exhbit can be seen is given at the end of the article.]



Artists - Richard Mayhew

"The spiritual realm of Richard Mayhew" / Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins. American Visions, 15(2): 16-21, April/May, 2000. [about landscape, abstract expressionist painter, Richard Mayhew from Amityville, Long Island, NY.]



Artists - Aaron McGruder

"McGruder, Aaron." Patrick Kelly. Current Biography, 62(9):51-54, September 2001. [Creator of the comic strip, Boondocks.]

"Millenium men." Deborah Gregory and Karu Daniels. Essence, 30(7):92+, November 1999. [Brief profiles of cartoonist Aaron McGruder and others.]



Artists - Robert H. McNeil

"Camera man" / Jane Lusaka. American Legacy, 3(2): 44-50, Summer 1997.
[Robert H. McNeil, photographer of the African-American community of Washington, DC beginning in the 1930's.]



Artists - Archibald Motley Jr.

"Down-home and uptown: Archibald Motley Jr. and the evolution of African-American Art." Floyd Coleman. Legacy (supplement to American Heritage Magazine), February/March 1995, 18-24.

"The legacy of an artist: visions of black life on canvas" / Veronica Mixon. Emerge, 4(3): 52, December 1992.
[about Archibald Motley]



Artists - Johnny Otis

Colors and cords: The art of Johnny Otis / Lee Hildebrand and Mary Lovelace O'Neal. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1995.



Artists - Horace Pippin

"Christmas Morning, Breakfast, Horace Pippin (Looking & Learning)." Heather Braunlin-Jones. School Arts, 103(6):31-36, February 2004. Excellent example of classroom teaching using art. Something about the painter, details of his work, and things the students can discuss on three different levels from the exhibited painting are given. Other examples presented are "GalleryCards", featuring Charles T. Webber's The Underground Railroad and Winslow Homer's Sunday Morning, Virginia.

"The natural: 'Pictures just come to my mind,' said Horace Pippin, the first African-American to get a solo show at the Met." Karin Lipson. Newsday: Sunday Fanfare Section, February 5, 1995. p. 12-13.



Artists - Nancy Elizabeth Prophet

"Elizabeth Prophet, 'I will not bend an inch.'" Elliot Krieger, editor. The Rhode Islander Magazine, July 10, 1994, p. 8-16.



Artists - Martin Puryear

"Brunhilde stripped bare." Lilly Wei. Art News, 100(11):98-100, December 2001. [about the latticework art structures of Martin Puryear entitled "Brunhilde" (1998-2000).]

"Martin Puryear's 'Ars Poetica'." Janet Koplos. Art in America, 89(12):74-79, December 2001. [The magnificent work of Martin Puryear keeps you guessing and forever thinking of what he has created in his sculptures and unique abstract art forms. The complexity of his use of cedar, pine, wire mesh, and glass as creations forces you to examine these visual art tangibles. Janet Koplos' article and color photos help you to see his fine work and the traveling exhibition of Puryer's works in museums up until April 2002.]



Artists - Faith Ringgold

"Faith Ringgold: the making of an artist." Lisa Farrington. American Visions, October/November 1999, p. 24-29.



Artists - Moneta Sleet Jr.

"Moneta Sleet Jr., 70, civil rights era photographer, dies." Robert McG. Thomas Jr. New York Times Biographical Service, 27(10), 1423, October 1996.



Artists - Bruce Smith

"Animator Bruce Smith gives blacks something to be proud of." Jet, 105(6):19, February 9, 2004. Profile of the creator/executive producer of the Disney Channel's cartoon series, "The Proud Family" and co-founder of Jambalaya Studio, producer of animated projects for TV, movies, and the internet.



Artists - Vincent Smith

"Vincent Smith: Sage, bohemian, prince." Sharon Fitzgerald. American VIsions, 14(3): 22-27, June/July 1999.



Artists - Nina Howell Starr

"Minnie Evans and Me." Nina Howell Starr. Folk Art, Winter 1994, p. 50-57.



Artists - Renée Stout

"Resonance, transformation, and rhyme : the art of Renée Stout" / Michael D. Harris. In Astonishment and power, introduction by Sylvia H. Williams and David C. Driskell. Washington, DC : Published for the National Museum of African Art by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.



Artists - Henry O. Tanner

"The art of Henry O. Tanner: Washington exhibition pays tribute to America's first major black artist." Ebony, October 1969, p.60-62+.

"Tanner's odyssey." Brooks Adams. Art in America, June 1991, p.108-113+.



Artists - Bob Thompson

"A beat goes on: the Whitney mounts a major retrospective of a Beat Generation artist who died before his time [Bob Thompson]" / Ariella Budick Newsday: FanFare, October 4, 1998, p. D18-D20.



Artists - Meta Vaux Warrick

"The sculptor." Gene Smith. American Legacy, 6(4):70-76, Winter 2001. [As a young woman, sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick surprised many with her raw vision of blacks in her works of art]



Artists - Richard Yard

"Showing vital signs: the watercolors of Richard Yard" / Alona M. Horn. American Visions, 13(1): 20-25, February/March 1998.



Collecting

"The art of the dealers." Ingrid Sturgis. Black Enterprise, July 1990, p. 62-68.

"Art's his passion" / Ariella Budick. Newsday: Fanfare, D4-D5, D18, February 6, 2000.
[Dr. Walter O. Evans collector of art pieces by African-American artists]

"Business, the Arts and Afro-America." American Visions, June 1988, p. 38-46.

 A century of African American art : the Paul R. Jones Collection / Amalia K. Amaki, editor. Newark, DE : University of Delaware. University Museum ; New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 2004. [This book is a collector's catalog dealing with the history and mission of Paul R. Jones, collector of African American art. Paul R. Jones, for thirty-five years, sought out paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures done by African American artists. Today that collection numbers over 1,500 plus art works and is considered one of the world's largest private collections done by African American artists. Many of the artists are well established and recognized in the art world, but many are not. Jones discovered that these talented African Americans need recognition. Today they can be seen at the one stop museum at the University of Delaware due to his efforts.]

"Connoisseur of African-American art finds new home for collection : an eclectic trove to go to Delaware." Frances X. Clines. New York Times, A4, February 15, 2001. [About Paul R. Jones' gift of 20th century works by African American artists to University of Delaware.]

"Heritage collectibles." Joy Duckett Cain. Essence, February 1994, p. 104-106.

"Her works of art" / Ingred Sturgis. Emerge, 7(8): 40-43, June 1996.
[June Kelly, gallery owner in the business of African-American art as a national market.]

His promise fulfilled : Detroit surgeon's collection of black art spans 131 years / Carey Lovelace. Newsday, B21, Feb 16, 1996. Dr. Walter O. Evans collection of African-American art on exhibit at Hofstra University's Emily Lowe Gallery: February 6 - March 31, 1996. Includes 62 pieces by the most prominent African-American visual artists, a traveling exhibit. A printed catalog is available.]

"Looting Africa : theft, illicit sales, poverty and war are conspiring to rob a continent of its rich artistic heritage." Time, 158(4):50-52, July 30, 2001.

"One person's opinion: Collecting - even the bad stuff." P.J. and Tyson Gibbs. American Visions, December 1988, p. 7-9.

"The rise of African American art : prices have increased dramatically after a decade of focused scholarship, exhibitions, and collecting." Eileen Kinsella. Art News, 102(8):118-123, September 2003. Learn more about those African American artists who were mostly excluded from the major art institutes, but today their works are sought after and showcased and selling for handsome prices at auctions and private art dealers.

"Shaping the story of black art." Pamela Newkirk. Art News, 99(5):198-201, May 2000. [The son of a Georgia sharecropper, artist David Driskell has become the worlds leading curator, collector and scholar of works by African-Americans]

"Where to start?: building an art library" / Carroll Greene. American Visions, 13(6): 58-61, December 1998.



Folk Art

"Along the side of the road: Crafting the sea grass baskets." Margaret Osburn. American Visions, April 1988, p. 16-21.

"A craft nurtured in limestone: Edmonson at American Folk Art after 63 years" / Senemeh.t Sasen Aat. The Network Journal, 7(10): 30, July/August, 2000. [about William Edmonson (1854-1951) who died at age 97.]

Folk art of black Africa / Marcel Griaule. New York; Paris: Tudor Publishing Company, 1950.

"Hawkins Bolden" / J. Scott Ogden. Folk Art, 26(3): 32-39, Fall 2001.

"Minnie Evans and Me." Nina Howell Starr. Folk Art, Winter 1994, p. 50-57.



Harlem Renaissance

"Alain Le Roy Locke at Oxford : the first African American Rhodes Scholar." Jeffrey C. Stewart. Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 31:112-117, Spring 2001.

Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance / Aberjhani and Sandra L. West. New York : Checkmark Books, 2003.

Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America [A Studio Museum in Harlem Exhibition sponsored book]. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987.

"Harlem when it sizzled." Gregory Ironman Tate. Village Voice: Voice Literary Supplement, December 1982, p. 11-15.

"The intellectual luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance." David Leveing Lewis. Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Spring 1995, p. 68.

"Memoirs of a WPA painter." Edward Laning. American Heritage, October 1970, vol. 21, no. 6, p. 38-57, 86-89.

A Renaissance in Harlem: lost voices of an American community / Lionel C. Bascom. New York : Avon Books, 1999. [This book is all about Harlem, NY during this vibrant period in history. With the help of the WPA Writer's Project, a host of talented writers were able to capture the spirit of what was going on in this "new" discovery of experience as blacks living in America. Included are some "lost manuscripts" by a host of writers, including Ralph Ellison and Dorothy West.]

Rhapsodies in black: art of the Harlem Renaissance. London: Hayward Gallery, the Institute of International Visual Arts ; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

Voices fron the Harlem Renaissance / Nathan Irvin Huggins, editor. New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.



Illustration and Comics

"African-American illustrators." American Visions, 15(4):20-27, August/September 2000. [includes James E. Ransome, Yvonne Buchanan, Terrance Cummings, Leo and Diane Dillon, Jerry Pinkney, Tom Feelings, Overton Loyd, Carole Byard, Pat Cummings]

"Animator Bruce Smith gives blacks something to be proud of." Jet, 105(6):19, February 9, 2004. Profile of the creator/executive producer of the Disney Channel's cartoon series, "The Proud Family" and co-founder of Jambalaya Studio, producer of animated projects for TV, movies, and the internet.

"Black cartoonists: Crusaders with pen and ink." Ebony, 36-37, 40, 42, January 1993.

"McGruder, Aaron." Patrick Kelly. Current Biography, 62(9):51-54, September 2001. [Creator of the comic strip, Boondocks.]

"Millenium men." Deborah Gregory and Karu Daniels. Essence, 30(7):92+, November 1999. [Brief profiles of cartoonist Aaron McGruder and others.]



Museums, Galleries, Studios, Schools

African-American artists, 1880-1987: Selections from the Evans-Tibbs Collection. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1989.

"African American women in the business of art." Shea Thomas. Network Journal, 9(7):20-21, May 2004. About women as founders of an art gallery and as producers of artworks taken from a woman's point of view.

Against the odds: African-American artists and the Harmon Foundation / Gary A. Reynolds and Beryl J Wright. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989.

"Art comes to Tougaloo" [Amid the tumult of the civil rights movement, a German-language professor, his African-American students, and a group of New York artists worked together to create an oasis of art at a small Mississippi college]. Audrey Peterson American Legacy, Winter 2000, p.66-68, 70.

"A beat goes on: the Whitney mounts a major retrospective of a Beat Generation artist who died before his time [Bob Thompson]" / Ariella Budick Newsday: FanFare, October 4, 1998, p. D18-D20.

"Black museums: Keeping the legacy alive." Ebony, March 1994, p. 36-37, 40-42.

Bob Blackburn's printmaking workshop: the artists of color / Noah Jemison; forward by Kay Walkingstick. New York: The Printmaking Workshop, 1991.

Breaking racial barriers: African-Americans in the Harmon Foundation Collection / David C. Driskell, preface ; Tuliza K. Fleming, introduction. Washington, DC: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution ; San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1997.

 A century of African American art : the Paul R. Jones Collection / Amalia K. Amaki, editor. Newark, DE : University of Delaware. University Museum ; New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 2004. [This book is a collector's catalog dealing with the history and mission of Paul R. Jones, collector of African American art. Paul R. Jones, for thirty-five years, sought out paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures done by African American artists. Today that collection numbers over 1,500 plus art works and is considered one of the world's largest private collections done by African American artists. Many of the artists are well established and recognized in the art world, but many are not. Jones discovered that these talented African Americans need recognition. Today they can be seen at the one stop museum at the University of Delaware due to his efforts.]

"Connoisseur of African-American art finds new home for collection : an eclectic trove to go to Delaware." Frances X. Clines. New York Times, A4, February 15, 2001. [About Paul R. Jones' gift of 20th century works by African American artists to University of Delaware.]

Discoveries: African art from the Smiley Collection / Anita J. Glaze. [s.l.]: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Krannert Art Museum, 1989.

"Divining Africa : A Met exhibit shows how art and the divine combine." Ariella Budick. Newsday, B3, May 4, 2000.

Ebony soliloquy : a five year retrospective / Stella Jones, editor. [s.l.] : Stella Jones Gallery, 2001. [Commemorative catalog representing the artists exhibited and the people contributing to the success of this first rate gallery/museum. Includes 50 pages of notable visual artists "from each of the four corners of the earth." Among them: Richmond Barthe, James Porter, Elizabeth Catlett, Francisco Mora, Richard Hunt, Louis Delsarte, and Tayo Adenaike.]

"Golden age : an interview with the Studio Museum's Thelma Golden." Greg Tate. Village voice, 46(20):49&52, May 22, 2001. [About the vision and work of Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs Thelma Golden's, along with curator Lowery Sims' redirection and new look and philosophy for this important African American visual arts landmark - thw Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; plus other news.]

"The grand tour: A look at the nation's black museums." Crisis, November/December 1995, p. 4-5, 24-25.

"Her works of art" / Ingred Sturgis. Emerge, 7(8): 40-43, June 1996.
[June Kelly, gallery owner in the business of African-American art as a national market.]

"Hidden treasures: Fisk University finds a place for $20 million worth of art" / Daryl Stuart. Emerge, 8(2): 58-64, November 1996.

His promise fulfilled : Detroit surgeon's collection of black art spans 131 years / Carey Lovelace. Newsday, B21, Feb 16, 1996. Dr. Walter O. Evans collection of African-American art on exhibit at Hofstra University's Emily Lowe Gallery: February 6 - March 31, 1996. Includes 62 pieces by the most prominent African-American visual artists, a traveling exhibit. A printed catalog is available.]

"Innovative collaborations: Harlem Textile Works nurtures a generation of designers." Lisa Dent. American Visions, October/November 1994, p. 20-24.

"Making art young : museums are welcoming children with movies, special exhibits and even dance parties." Laurel Graeber. New York Times, Section 5: Travel, TR8 & TR18, October 12, 2003. ["Capturing the interest of local school aged children and their families, featuring some great incentives by some of America's major museums. Telephone numbers and connective websites are featured, opening another information link to art and its creative possibilities.".]

"A mind-opening experience" / Mark C. Tilles. Emerge, 8(4): 72-78, February 1997.
[Detroit's Museum of African-American History]

Notable African-Americans from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery / Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1995.

"Passion on palette : it is in art that Alonzo Adams finds the essence of life in its truest form." Angela P. Moore-Thorpe. Upscale, 13(4):76,78, December/January 2002. [a look at the life of Alonzo Adams, his work, mentors, and Foundation established in 1977 to help budding and promising minority students in the visual arts.]

"Post-Black : radical intelligence at the Studio Museum in Harlem." Jerry Saltz. Village Voice, 46(20):51, May 22, 2001. [An insightful review of a new exhibition of 28 African American artists as curated by Thelma Golden and co-organized by Christine Y. Kim, entitled, "Freestyle."]

"Priceless: A look at the value of an African-American artist's work - to his family, and to the museum that possesses it" [William H. Johnson]. Deborah Barfield. Newsday, September 8, 1998, p. B6-B8.

"Remembering Jacob Lawrence : a work in progress." Mary Voboril. Newsday, Part 2, B6-B7, October 8, 2001. [It is about Lawrence and the preservation of his ideas and works as an artist. The name of the place, when established, will be called the Lawrence Institute for Contemporary Art and Ideas. It will be a home "for emerging artists in the 20-something age group or those making the transition between school and career".]

"School masters: Artists from the collections of six historically black colleges and universities have much to teach in a show at the Studio Museum in Harlem." Patrick Pacheco. Newsday: FanFare, D18-D20, June 13, 1999.

"Shaping the story of black art." Pamela Newkirk. Art News, 99(5):198-201, May 2000. [The son of a Georgia sharecropper, artist David Driskell has become the worlds leading curator, collector and scholar of works by African-Americans]

"Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art featuring 31 African-American artists in a traveling exhibit entitled, 'FREE WITHIN OURSELVES: A celebration of African-American artistry and vision.'" Smithsonian Magazine, November 1993, p. 136-148.

"A struggle to be seen : museums on black culture are springing up all over, but must still fight for money and a future." Stephen Kinzer. New York Times, E1-E2, February 22, 2001.

"To the curator go the spoils: The royal art of Benin." Amei Wallach. Newsday: Sunday Fanfare Section, January 19, 1992, p. 21, 39.

"Tougaloo art colony" / Carole Cannon. American Visions, 15(3): 27-31, June/July, 2000. [about visual artists, their festival, and collection of notable works at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi.]

"Two antilynching art exhibitions: politicized viewpoints, racial perspectives, gendered constraints." Helen Langa. American Art, 13(1):10-39, Spring 1999. [about the role artists played in two 1935 exhibitions: An Art Commentary on Lynching and Struggle for Negro Rights. Among artists featured are: George W. Bellows, Isamu Noguchi, Harry Sternberg, Julius Bloch, Samuel Brown, Charles Alston, Hale Woodruff, and others condeming the violent act of lynching via their art work.]

"Where to start?: building an art library" / Carroll Greene. American Visions, 13(6): 58-61, December 1998.



Photography

The African-American family album [a photographic history from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's] / Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

"Being where I thought I should be : Leroy Henderson has devoted more than 30 years to capturing intimate scenes of the black experience." Audry Peterson. American Legacy, 7(2):74-80, Summer 2001. [About the work of Leroy Henderson, including some of his prized photographs.]

"The black male: A photographic essay." Ebony, August 1972, p. 50-58, 60-62.

"Camera man" / Jane Lusaka. American Legacy, 3(2): 44-50, Summer 1997.
[Robert H. McNeil, photographer of the African-American community of Washington, DC beginning in the 1930's.]

"Great photos from Ebony." Ebony, February 1990, p. 178-182.

"Masterful American photographer Roy DeCarava." Fern Robinson. American Visions, vol. 14, no. 6, December/January 2000, p. 20-24.

"Million Man March - SPIRIT OF THE MARCH: photo essay." Bruce Talamon,... [et al.], photographers. Emerge Magazine, February 1996, p. 51-67.

"Moneta Sleet Jr., 70, civil rights era photographer, dies." Robert McG. Thomas Jr. New York Times Biographical Service, 27(10), 1423, October 1996.

"Photography as art: A DeCarava portfolio." American Visions, June 1988, p. 10-15.

"Photography incognita." Pepe Karmel. Art in America, October 1983, p. 37-43.

"Somebody somewhere wants your photograph" [The works of photographer, Allen E. Cole]. D. L. Beavers. Legacy, February/March 1995, p. 40-45.

"A woman loaded for bear : Queens retiree doesn't just vacation, she 'adventures.'" Merle English. Newsday Special Publication : Black History Month, 33, February 2004 [reprint of Newsday, G3, August 31, 2003]. Photographer Barbara Hillary travels to arctic regions to photograph polar bears.



Quilts and Textiles

"Captured in cloth : a new breed of artists has made quilts the canvas on which to depict the history and spirit of the African American people." Patrice Kelly. American Legacy, 6(1), Spring 2000.

"Family fabrics" [African-American quiltmaking]. Ativa Butler. American Legacy, Spring 1996, p. 45-49.

"Innovative collaborations: Harlem Textile Works nurtures a generation of designers." Lisa Dent. American Visions, October/November 1994, p. 20-24.

"Quilts from the Mississippi heartland." Roland Freeman. American Visions, May/June 1986, p. 29-32.

"Sewn together with love : the quilts of Gee's Bend." Beverly Hall Lawrence. Newsday Special Publication : Black History Month, 47, February 2004 [reprint of Newsday, A22, June 17, 2003]. Traveling exhibit of quilts made by Loretta Pettway and other women in Gee's Bend, Alabama

"Threads of evidence: Attributing an anonymous quilt to an African-American maker." Karl Kusserow. Folk Art, Spring 1994, p. 46-49.



Slavery

The African-American family album [a photographic history from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's] / Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

"Feelings evoked by the brutal middle passage" [Tom Feelings work covering 64 paintings for his book, The Middle Passage]. Victoria Valentine. Emerge Magazine, October 1995, p. 74-75.

Jacob Lawrence, The Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman Series of 1938-40 / Ellen Harkins Wheat. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991.

Joshua Johnston: Freeman and early American painter. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society, 1987.

Many thousand gone: African-Americans from slavery to freedom / Virginia Hamilton; illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

"When slaves and currency were one : interpreting the images of toil on Confederacy's money." David Firestone. New York Times, E1 & E3, March 6, 2001. [Article about artist and illustrator John W. Jones' 30 paintings taken from Confederate money on exhibit at College of Charleston in South Carolina.]


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Trying to complete this exhibit on the Visual Artists in the midst of renovations was not an easy task. With the cooperation of the Instructional Media Center (IMC), including Manju Prasad, Maria Zarycky, and Gisela Miceli, the job was made easier. Dr. Donald Ungarelli, University Director of Libraries, gave the approval, and, most of all, Robert Delaney provided the print design and layout for the written words of the exhibit.

My utmost appreciation and thanks for your support in helping me move this exhibit to the completed stage.


Melvin Sylvester       

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