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Article

Alston, Charles  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 28 November 1907, in Charlotte (North Carolina); died 27 April 1977, in New York.

Painter, sculptor, illustrator, lithographer. Murals.

Groups: Spiral, 306.

Charles Alston moved to New York with his mother in 1914, after his father died. Alston received his BA and MA (...

Article

Andrews, Benny  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 13 November 1930, in Plainview (Georgia); died 10 November 2006, in New York (New York).

Painter, collage artist, installation artist, sculptor, photographer, illustrator, draughtsman, watercolourist, print artist. Figures, portraits, interiors with figures, landscapes, animals.

Black Emergency Cultural Coalition, Rhino Horn Group

African-American artist Benny Andrews was the second of ten children born to George and Viola Andrews in the small rural farming town of Plainview, Georgia. He served in the US Air Force during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge, Andrews moved to Chicago and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with a BFA in 1958. He then moved to New York, where, in 1969, with Cliff Joseph and Valerie Maynard, he founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC), the aim of which was to force the major museums to include work by African-American artists in their shows. Andrews helped organize protests of several major museum shows including the Whitney Museum of American Art’s ...

Article

Artis, William Ellisworth  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 2 February 1914, in Washington (North Carolina), 1919, according to some sources; died 1977.

Sculptor, print artist, ceramicist, illustrator.

William E. Artis studied at the University of Syracuse, New York, New York State University and the Art Students League, New York. He was also a student of Augusta Savage at the Harlem Community Art Center, New York. Artis expressed his humanist ideals by depicting impassive faces in a purified style, combining African and classical sculpture....

Article

Bearden, Romare Howard  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 2 September 1911, in Charlotte (North Carolina); died 12 March 1988, in New York.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, lithographer, screen printer, engraver, collage artist, newspaper cartoonist, illustrator, art theorist. Religious subjects, figure compositions, local figures. Humorous cartoons, frontispieces, stage sets...

Article

Biggers, John Thomas  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 13 April 1924, in Gastonia (North Carolina); died February 2001.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, print artist, illustrator. Figures, scenes with figures. Murals.

John Biggers studied at the Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia. From 1943 to 1945, he served in the US navy. After the war, he studied under Viktor Lowenfeld at Pennsylvania State University, first earning a BS, and then an MS in ...

Article

Browne, Vivian E.  

American, 20th century, female.

Born 29 April 1929, in Laurel (Florida); died 23 July 1993, in New York.

Painter, print artist, illustrator. Figures, portraits, landscapes, still-lifes.

Vivian E. Browne studied at Hunter College, New York, earning a BS in 1950, and an MA in 1959...

Article

Burroughs, Margaret T. G.  

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1 November 1917, in St Rose (Louisiana).

Sculptor (bronze), engraver, painter, illustrator, watercolourist, writer. Figures, portraits, genre scenes.

Margaret T.G. Burroughs studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Illinois State University. In 1961, Burroughs and her husband founded the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art at their home in Chicago. The museum remains under Burroughs' directorship, but was later renamed the DuSable Museum of African American History. In ...

Article

Chase-Riboud, Barbara  

American, 20th century, female.

Active in France.

Born 26 June 1939, in Philadelphia.

Sculptor, painter, print artist, illustrator, writer.

Barbara Chase-Riboud received her BFA from Temple University, Philadelphia, and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. She also studied in Rome. She has lived and worked in Paris since ...

Article

Crichlow, Ernest  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 19 June 1914, in Brooklyn (New York City); died 10 November 2005.

Painter, draughtsman, illustrator, lithographer, screen printer. Figures. Murals.

Groups: Spiral, 306.

Ernest Crichlow's family were immigrants from the Barbados. He studied illustration at New York University and the Art Students League, New York, and worked for the Federal Art Project (the WPA programme designed to assist artists) during the Great Depression. In ...

Article

Crite, Allan Rohan  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 20 March 1910, in North Plainfield (New Jersey).

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, print artist, illustrator. Religious subjects, figures, figure compositions, genre scenes, street scenes. Murals, church decoration, religious furnishings.

Harlem Renaissance.

Allan Rohan Crite studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and then at Harvard University Extension School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. During the Depression, he worked for the Federal Arts Project. He lived in Boston since he was one year old. From the early 1940s, Crite set out to paint the life of the black community in Roxbury and South End, Boston. He also created a number of religious works for churches in the 1930s and illustrated religious books. In particular, he published two books of Negro Spirituals with Harvard University Press, ...

Article

Depillars, Murry N.  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Chicago.

Painter, draughtsman, print artist, illustrator.

AfriCobra Group.

Murry DePillars earned his BA and MA at Roosevelt University, Chicago, and his PhD from Pennsylvania State University. He served in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He is a member of AfriCobra (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), which calls for an art entirely directed towards the African-American community. He moved to Richmond, Virginia in ...

Article

Donaldson, Jeff  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 December 1937, in Pine Bluff (Arkansas); died 2004.

Painter, print artist, illustrator. Figures, portraits, scenes with figures. Murals.

AfriCobra Group.

Jeff Donaldson studied at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and Northwestern University, where he obtained his PhD in art history in ...

Article

Douglas, Aaron  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 26 May 1899, in Topeka (Kansas); died 3 February 1979, in Nashville (Tennessee).

Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist, illustrator. Murals, posters.

Harlem Renaissance.

306 Group.

Aaron Douglas studied at the University of Nebraska School of Fine Arts, Lincoln, NE, where he obtained his BA in 1922, and the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1923. In 1924, he left Kansas to go to New York, where he frequented the artistic and intellectual circles of the New Negro Movement, symbolised by the 1925 anthology The New Negro by the philosopher Alain Locke. The New Negro Movement was a social and political movement that had emerged from progressive currents around 1900 and developed in the cultural field. Harlem became its national capital. White artists and intellectuals also took part, including the Austrian artist Winold Reiss, with whom Douglas studied from 1924 to 1927. Douglas then went to Paris, staying from 1931 to 1932...

Article

Douglas, Aaron  

Sarah Deanne Richter

(b Topeka, KS, May 26, 1899; d Nashville, TN, Feb 3, 1979).

American painter, draftsman, watercolorist, and illustrator. Aaron Douglas was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance (mid-1918–1930). Douglas graduated from the University of Nebraska School of the Fine Arts, Lincoln, where he obtained his BA in 1922 and continued his studies at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1923. Following his graduation, he began teaching art at Lincoln High School in Kansas City, MO, until 1925 when he left for Paris with a planned stop in New York City. Upon arriving in New York City, Douglas joined the New Negro Movement’s artistic and intellectual circles of the Harlem Renaissance. While in New York, he studied with the German American artist Winold Reiss (1886–1953), who encouraged Douglas to create a new form of African American art by working with African-centric themes and modernist aesthetics. Also during this time, he began to work with W. E. B. Du Bois as the illustrator for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s monthly journal, ...

Article

Feelings, Tom  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 19 May 1933, in Brooklyn; died 25 August 2003.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, illustrator. Figures, figure compositions, scenes with figures.

Tom Feelings trained at the Cartoonists and Illustrators' School, New York (1951-1953) and the School of Visual Art, New York, (...

Article

Fuller, Meta Vaux Warrick  

American, 19th – 20th century, female.

Born 9 June 1877, in Philadelphia; died 13 March 1968.

Sculptor (plaster/bronze), illustrator.

Harlem Renaissance.

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School for Industrial Arts (today Philadelphia College of Art) from 1894 to 1899 and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts ...

Article

Harden, Marvin  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Austin (Texas).

Draughtsman, painter, lithographer, illustrator. Animals, plants.

Marvin Harden studied at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a teacher.

His work is characterised by very small drawings of plants and animals within larger, geometric compositions, creating a poetic effect in which the form depicted is magnified by the effects of perspective. He does not colour his drawings, which are usually in pencil....

Article

Hollingsworth, Alvin  

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1931, in New York.

Painter (mixed media), watercolourist, draughtsman, print artist, sculptor, illustrator. Figure compositions, figures, nudes, landscapes. Murals.

Spiral Group.

Alvin Hollingsworth was born into a family of West Indian origin. He studied at the Art Students League and New York City College, graduating in ...

Article

Humphrey, Margo  

American, 20th century, female.

Born 25 June 1942, in Oakland (California).

Painter, engraver, lithographer, monotype artist, illustrator. Figures, scenes with figures.

Margo Humphrey lived her formative years in California, studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Merritt College, Oakland, then Stanford University. She taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz before joining the staff of the University of Maryland. She is best known for her lithographs whose elaborate compositions are set in primary colours and which account for the artist's environment (objects, persons, vegetation, architectures). In the 1960s, she turned her attention to African history. Her stylised representation sometimes tends towards Abstraction, for instance in ...

Article

Jones, Lois Mailou  

American, 20th century, female.

Born 3 November 1905, in Boston; died 9 June 1998, in Washington DC.

Painter, draughtswoman, illustrator, watercolourist, textile artist. Figures, nudes, portraits, genre scenes, street scenes, landscapes, still-lifes.

Lois Mailou Jones graduated in textile design from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and went on to study further at the Designers Art School, Boston, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, and Howard University, Washington DC. In ...