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.