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African American Artists

African American Artists

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African American Artists

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  1. African American Artists

  2. Palmer Hayden (1890-1973) Palmer Hayden was born Peyton Cole Hedgeman in 1890 in Widewater, Virginia. Hayden specialized in depicting African American Folklore through art. He spent ten years on a single series for African American folk hero, John Henry.

  3. The Janitor Who Paints, Palmer Hayden

  4. Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) Henry Tanner was born into a deeply religious family in Pittsburg, PA in 1859. Tanner’s father, a Methodist Episcopal bishop, wanted his son to follow in his ministerial footsteps, but Tanner had already been inspired by both racial injustice and artists such as, Edmonia Lewis and Edward Bannister. Tanner died an accepted and honored painter in 1937.

  5. The Banjo Lesson, Henry Ossawa Tanner

  6. The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner

  7. Charles Alston (1907-1977) Charles Alston was born in Charolette, NC in 1907. Alston’s father was a respected Episcopal minister, who died before Alston was three years old. Alston studied art at Columbia University and New York University and later became an illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, painter, and muralist. He also spent time teaching art a variety of places including as a professor at the City University of New York.

  8. Girl in a Red Dress, Charles Alston

  9. Aaron Douglas (1898-1979) Aaron Douglas was born in 1898 in Kansas. Douglas received a degree from the University of Nebraska and taught in Kansas City schools for a while. Douglas found the majority of inspiration for his work in African art. Douglas became part of the Harlem Renaissance or the “New Negro Movement.”

  10. Boy with Toy Plane, Aaron Douglas

  11. William H. Johnson (1901-1970) William Henry Johnson was born in 1901 in Florence, SC. Johnson taught himself to draw by coping cartoons and eventually enrolled himself in the National Academy of Design where he furthered his skills. His work has been very much influenced by the European Expressionist artists. Johnson used distorted lines, shapes, and exaggerated colors to relay an inner vision rather than a direct representation.

  12. Children Playing London Bridge, William H. Johnson

  13. Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-200) Hughie Lee-Smith was born in 1915 in Eustis, Florida. He graduated from the Cleveland School of the Arts with honors, studying dance, theater, and visual arts. Lee-Smith’s paintings portray African American life as survival in the midst of senseless neglect. He is known for using a surrealistic style to explore concerns with urban life and its decay.

  14. Boy with Tire, Hughie Lee-Smith

  15. Elizabeth Catlett (1915-) Elizabeth Catlett was born in 1915. Catlett, who has become a printmaker and a sculptor was denied admission to Carnegie Institute of Technology due to racial discrimination so she attended Howard University and graduated with honors in her painting major. She was the first person to earn a M.F.A from the University of Iowa in 1940. She has done over 50 solo shows of her own work and continues to make art. Influenced by Kathe Kollwitz.

  16. Harriet, Elizabeth Catlett

  17. Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) Jacob Lawrence, a twentieth-century painter, was born in 1917 and is known for his well-researched historical narratives of urban life in the African American Community. Lawrence’s mentor, Charles Alston noticed Lawrence’s talent at a young age in a Harlem community center and encouraged him to pursue a career in the arts. His style is defined by tempera painting techniques combined with precise geometric compositions.

  18. Brownstones, Jacob Lawrence

  19. Romare Bearden (1911-1988) Romare Bearden was a painter, printmaker, and collage artist born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1911. Growing up in Harlem with prominent parents in the community, Bearden was exposed to jazz, literature, and art at a young age. His collages were complex comprised of complex layers, full of geometry, color, and textures. His collages expressed his memories of urban life in Harlem, New York.

  20. Morning, Romare Bearden

  21. Edmonia Lewis (1844-1904) Edmonia Lewis was born in 1844 to an Native American Mother and African American Father. She traveled to Boston, Massachusetts hoping to study music, but was inspired to begin sculpting by a statue of Benjamin Franklin. In 1865 she traveled to Italy where she studied sculpture and eventually opened her own studio in Rome.

  22. Death of Cleopatra, Edmonia Lewis

  23. Kara Walker (1969-) Kara Walker was born in 1969 in Stockton, California. She received a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and her Master’s in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. She is best known for her work with black, cut-out silhouettes organized to portray various themes of power, repression, and race.

  24. Skidmore College Collage 2003, Kara Walker

  25. Kerry James Marshall (1955-) Kerry James Marshall was born in 1955, in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his degree from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angles. The themes and subjects of his paintings and installations are generally related to African American pop-culture. He feels that he is fulfilling his “social responsibility” through his art.

  26. Vignette #2, Kerry James Marshall