NEW YORK: African-American Paintings, Photographs, Sculptures and Literary Works: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York celebrates the artistic movement that emerged from the Great Migration of millions of black people from the South to the North and West. USA in the first half of the 20th century.
Starting next February, one of the world’s most prestigious museums will display 160 works of modern art from historically black universities, art centers and foundations, the Met announced Tuesday night in a “groundbreaking” exhibition titled “The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism.” .
It is a comprehensive overview of the first international modern art movement, founded by African-American artists specifically to depict “contemporary everyday life in new black neighborhoods such as Harlem in New York and the South Side in Chicago in the 1900s. 1920s-1940s,” according to a Met statement.
The interwar period in the United States marks the first decades of the Great African American Migration (which historians say spanned from 1910 to 1970), during which approximately six million people left the still-segregated Southern states for the North, Midwest, and western metropolises that were supposed to offer freedom, equality and better living conditions.
“Through portraits of major artists of the time, scenes of urban life and nightlife, this exhibition highlights the central role of the movement (the ‘Harlem Renaissance’) in shaping the contemporary black theme and even early 20th century modern art,” Met. CEO Max Hollein said in a statement.
Featured artists include Charles Alston, Miguel Covarrubias, Aaron Douglas, Meta Warrick Fuller, William H. Johnson, Archibald Motley Jr., Winold Reiss, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and Laura Wheeler Waring.
Part of the exhibition will compare paintings by African-American artists who spent time in Europe with African portraits by European artists such as Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Germaine Casse, Kees Van Dongen, Jacob Epstein and Ronald Moody.
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