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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

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