Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist

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May include moderately worn cover, writing, markings or slight discoloration. SKU:9780300121803-4-0

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New Haven 2008 Hardcover First Edition (1st printing) As New in As New jacket Book. 4to-over 9?"-12" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). ... Published in conjunction with the museum exhibition. Read more Show Less

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2007 Hardcover Very Good+ 0300121806. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--Text in English. 272 pp. With 196 ills. (143 col. ). 28 x 24 cm.

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Overview

In paintings, murals, and book illustrations, Aaron Douglas (1899–1979) produced the most powerful visual legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, prompting the philosopher and writer Alain Locke to dub him the “father of Black American art.” Working from a politicized concept of personal identity and a utopian vision of the future, the artist made a lasting impact on American art history and on the nation’s cultural heritage. Douglas’s role, as well as that of the Harlem Renaissance in general, in the evolution of American modernism deserves close scholarly attention, which it finally receives in this beautifully illustrated book.
 
Douglas combined angular Cubist rhythms and seductive Art Deco dynamism with traditional African and African American imagery. The result was a radically new utopian visual vocabulary that evoked both current realities and hopes for a better future. Presenting more than ninety illustrations of Douglas’s works and the commentary of leading critics and historians, this book focuses on the artist’s career from the 1920s through the 1940s in relation to American modernism. Its authors argue that Douglas’s bold work opened doors for African American artists in Harlem and beyond, and that it invited a dialogue with modernism that put African American life, labor, and freedom, along with African traditions and motifs, at its center. New information emerges from these pages, reflecting the rich interchange between the visual arts, music, dance, literature, and politics that shaped Douglas’s work and also defined the Harlem Renaissance.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Aaron Douglas is best known as a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance and one of the greatest black artists in American art history. His mature style combined art deco energy and sophistication, modernist abstraction, and themes from African and African American history, sometimes described as jazz made visible. This volume brings together essays by many of the leading scholars of African American art, including Kinshasha Conwill and David Driskell, to accompany a major exhibition of Douglas's art. Focusing on his artistic development from his formative years in the Midwest to his blossoming after moving to New York City and his later time as a leading university art educator, the text explores his accomplishments as a poster and book designer, painter, and muralist. Well illustrated with reproductions of his works in both black-and-white and color, this book attests to the undeniable significance of Douglas's artistic achievements. Highest recommendation for any library with an interest in art or African American history.-Eugene C. Burt, Seattle

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300121803
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Earle is curator of European and American Art at the Spencer Museum of Art. Renée Ater is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. Kinshasha Holman Conwill is deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution. David C. Driskell, a practicing artist and scholar, is retired as Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of Maryland. Amy Helene Kirschke is associate professor of art history at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Stephanie Fox Knappe is a doctoral candidate in the history of art at the University of Kansas. Richard J. Powell is John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University. Cheryl R. Ragar is visiting instructor in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.

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