Lasting roughly from the 1910’s through the mid
1930’s, the Harlem Renaissance, a period of rich
cross-disciplinary artistic and cultural activity, is
considered the golden age in African-American
culture. Artists associated with the movement
asserted pride in black life and identity, a rising consciousness of inequality and discrimination, and an interest in the rapidly changing modern world. Many artists themselves experienced a freedom of expression through the arts for the first time.
Acknowledged as highly accomplished and influential visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance, are Charles Henry Alston and Aaron Douglas.
Charles Alston was an American painter, sculptor,
illustrator, muralist and teacher, and was the first African American supervisor for the Works Progress
Administration’s Federal Art Project. Among his many
accomplishments, Alston designed and painted murals in
Harlem Hospital and the Golden State Mutual Life
Insurance Building. In 1990, Alston’s bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. became the first image of an African-American to be displayed at the White House. Aaron Douglas was an
American painter, illustrator, visual arts educator and one of the first artists to document the history of the African-American experience through visual art. His innovative, cubist and/or art-deco style was influenced by African art, using the rhythm of circles, diagonals, and wavy lines to energize his artwork. Primarily due to the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the Harlem Renaissance ended…however, the impact on America was indelible – bringing notice to the great works of African-American art and its artists – including both Charles Alston and Aaron Douglas. Please join us as we explore these two artists who, in addition to being masterful, inspired and influenced future generations of African-American artists
Instructor: Laura Nicholls