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African American Art Oxford Senior center
Transcript of African American Art Oxford Senior center
to Supper for the
Oxford Senior Center During this period, art was similar to west and central African crafts
Small drums, quilts, wrought iron figures, ceramic vessels
Slaves from Africa were skilled artisans and learned from apprentices During Slavery 1773-1887 G.W. Hobbs Patrick H. Reason 19th Century Quilting Harriet Powers -- African American nationally recognized quilt maker from Georgia
Recorded local legends, Bible stories, and astronomical events on quilts
only 2 of her quilts survive
Women of Gee's Bend passed skills through at least 6 generations Post Civil War Increasingly acceptable for African American art to be shown in museums & artists began making works for this purpose
Works were mostly European romantic, and classical traditions of landscapes and portraits
Most notable of the time: Edward Mitchell Bannister, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edmonia Lewis Goal of widespread recognition across racial boundaries was first eased within America's big cities: Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, Chicago, New Orleans
Abroad, African Americans were much better received. Especially in Europe (Paris, France) artists could express much more freedom in experimentation and education concerning techniques outside of traditional Western art
Freedom of expression, to a lesser extent, was prevalent in Munich & Rome Earliest known portrait artists
G.W. Hobbs, Patrick H. Reason, Joshua Johnson, Scipio Moorhead Scipio Moorhead Joshua Johnson Harlem Renaissance 1920s 1919-early/mid 1930s
Redefined how both the world & America viewed African Americans
Progress gave African American community spirit of self determination that was the foundation for the civil rights struggles Harlem Renaissance cont'd Notable artists: Richmond Barthe, Aaron Douglas, Lawrence Harris, Palmer Hayden, William H. Johnson, Sargent Johnson, John T. Biggers, Earle Wilton Richardson, Malvin Gray Johnson, Archibald Motley, Augusta Savage, Hale Woodruff; photographer, James Van Der Zee
Establishment of Harmon Foundation by art patron William E. Harmon in 1922 sponsored many artists through annual exhibitions; offered funding for developing artists like Jacob Lawrence 1933 Franklin Roosevelt New Deal 1935, Works Project Admin. created jobs; included ethnic & marginal groups
Many African Americans found new employment opportunities & special programs; focused on 3 centuries of their cultural accomplishments
Generated many documents consisting of written & oral histories, guidebooks, fine prints, plays, pesters, photos & architectural histories New Deal cont'd Many African Americans who worked with the WPA continued making contributions after the New Deal failed & are represented in collections of the Library of Congress
Artists & writers gained work that helped them survive the Great Depression. Among them were Jacob Lawrence & Richard Wright
WPA artists united to form the Harlem Artists' Guild, which developed community art facilities in major cities Civil War cont'd 1950s & 1960s 1950s & 1960s cont'd The Highway men were rediscovered in the 90's and are now recognized as important part of American folk history; their paintings go for thousands. They are now part of Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
After WWII, some artists took a global approach
Some African American artists made it to important galleries in NYC: Edward Clark, Harvey Cropper, Beauford Delaney, Herbert Gentry, etc. 1960s Civil Rights Movement Led artists to capture & express the times and changes
Galleries & community art centers were developed to display African American art
Collegiate teaching positions created for & by African American artists Black Arts Movement (60s/70s) Started in Harlem by writer Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones)
"Aesthetic and spiritual sister of Black Power concept"
"Single most controversial moment in the history of African American literature--possibly in American literature as a whole" -Time magazine
Inspired blacks to establish their own publishing houses, magazines, journal & art institutions Black Arts Movement cont'd Triggered by assassination of Malcom X
Amiri Baraka, after Malcom X's assassination, moved from Manhattan to Harlem & established Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School (BARTS)--considered the formal start
Amiri came up with name "black arts" Few African American Artists were widely known or accepted
The Highway Men, loose association of 26 African American artists from Florida painted Floridian landscapes & peddled them from their car trunks 1980s & 1990s Hip hop graffiti became predominate in urban communities
Most major cities had museums devoted to African American artists
National Endowment for the Arts provides support to artists
Important African American art collections: Walter O. Evans,
Paul R. Jones, David C. Driskell,
Harmon & Harriet Kelley,
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Mott-Warsh collections 2000s Kara Walker, known for her exploration of race, gender, sexuality, violence & identity in her art
In 2007 Walker was listed among Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World, Artists and Entertainers"
Influential contemporary artists, include: Laylah Ali, Emma Amos, Rashid Johnson, Carrie Mae Weems, Fred Wilson, Che Baraka, Terry Dixon & Thaddeus Mosley