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.