Saturday, November 24, 2012

Edwin A. Harsleston

"Portrait of a Woman"1920 oil on canvas 16x 20" 
 Collection of Savannah College of Art and Design

"Portrait of Aaron Douglas" 1930 oil on canvas 32x 28"
Collection of the Gibbes Musuem

Edwin Harleston was born 1882 in Charleston, SC. He was not just a reknown painter but also a trusted leader within the community and civil rights activist. He was not just focused on the rights and freedoms his fellow African Americans but also the rights and equality of all people.

 Harleston pursued his higher edjucation at the Avery Institute in Charlston were he graduated in 1900. Later he went on to Atlanta, Ga. where he studied at Howard University, there he switched over majors there he found his passion of painting. Next he ventured to the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts where he honed his artistic skills, there he spent 6 years before returning back to his home town of Charleston, SC. In 1916 he founded the local chapter of the NAACP there. 

He was best known for his portraiture and landscapes of the Charleston area. Harleston also received steady commissioned portraits through out his career. Where he painted from civil leaders and notibles of the community to portraits of average people, thus touching a wide range of life within his portrait work.

 He passed away only at the age of 49. But what Harleston left behind with us was more than  his stunning paintings, but also his legacy as a civil servant in the Charleston African American community. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Annie Walker

"La Parisenne" 1896 pastel on paper

Annie Anderson Walker is my first female post. Which extremely excited to introduce her to my follwers. She was born in 1855 in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She lived and worked in the New York area for a short while before moving to Washington, D.C. where she met and feel in love and married lawyer Thomas Walker. Soon later they moved back to the New YorkCity, where she pursued her higher edjucation in the arts at the prestigous Cooper Union. After she finished her art schooling at Cooper Union in 1895. The following year in 1896 she was the first African American female artist to study abroad.  She was encouraged by her professor Thomas Eakins who told her how his expupil Henry Osswa Tanner. Of his success and acceptance he was receiving abroad. And  how it would be a much easier for her to  make as an professional artist there. So she ventured to Paris. Where in 1896 she studied at the Acedeme' Julian for the next six years. There she excelled in drawing and where got some recognition for her portraiture. One of drawings "La Parisienne" was accepted by the Salon  in 1896. Once returning to America she like a lot the African American Artist of that time struggled to find the same success and acceptance she received abroad. But she did maintain an income by teaching drawing classes until she passed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Allan Crite

Allan Crite was born in 1910 in New Jersey, his family relocated to Boston during his childhood. Crite showed real promise from an early age. He was encouraged to enroll at Chidren Art Centre there in Boston. In 1929 he graduated highschool. In 1930 he furthered his studies at the School of Boston  Fine Arts where he graduated in 1936. During his final year schooling he was exhibiting professionally having showed at the  Boston Society and the Harmond Foundation. 

In 1940 he took a job at the Boston  Naval Ship Yard where he worked as a engineering draftsman for the next thirty years.

His earlier paintings where neighborhood  scenes of the Boston African American community and his work also touches on a spiritual nature by depicting religous scenes in the modern context of his day. Crite also created numerous liturical works for black churches. He also published two volumes his illustrations of negro spirtuals through Harvard Unirversity in the 1940's. His work also generally falls under American Realism.

Crite in 1968 later earned a B.A. at the Havard University extension school.

He died in 2007 in his hometown of Boston. Through his illustrious career he exhibited at Museum of Modern Art New York and Boston Museum of Fine Art. Leaving with us all his art work to enjoy and cherish.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Archibald Motley

"Self Portrait"

"Mending the Sox"( The Artist Grandmother)

Archibald Motley Jr. was born in 1891 in New Orleans. When he was just 2 years of age his family picked up and moved to Chicago.

 In 1914 he attended college at the School of  Art Institute of Chicago. During the early part of his career Motley did a series of work documenting racial catergories  of women of mixed heritage, accepting the racial catergories of the day, documenting the physiognomic of women of mixed race ( dealing with the variety of color in African American skin tones).

Motley developed a strange logic to his approach, he would begin each painting with abstract pencil sketches. He thought every object in the picture plain should have a reason for  being there. Nothing was left to chance in his work. By choosing to depict the modern black life of 1920's and 30's documenting the middle and upper class socialites, " The New Negro".He was also one the major contributers of the Harlem Renaisanse. He also delt with social dynamics and interacial issues with in African American Culture in his work. He always adhered to painting African American subject matter also validating negros in the western art tradition as an artist

He passed in 1981 in Chicago at the age of 89.