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Arts & Culture: Art Focus
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Find out how artists, inspired by their African heritage and African American culture, created art in their own individual styles.




The Harlem Renaissance
Period & Artists
Pre-Civil War
Exploring Freedom
The Harlem Renaissance
Aaron Douglas
Palmer Hayden
Archibald Motley
Ellis Wilson
Augusta Savage
The Legacy
Social Activism
Modern Identities



Aaron Douglas
Into Bondage (1936)

Related Artists:
Aaron Douglas
Palmer Hayden
Archibald Motley
Ellis Wilson
Augusta Savage

In his 1925 essay, "The New Negro", Howard University Professor of Philosophy Alain Locke encouraged African American artists to create a school of African American art with an identifiable style and aesthetic, and to look to African culture and African American folk life for subject matter and inspiration. Locke's ideas, coupled with a new ethnic awareness that was occurring in urban areas, inspired up and coming African American artists. These artists rejected landscapes for the figurative, rural scenes for urban and focused on class, culture and Africa to bring ethnic consciousness into art and create a new black identity. The New Negro movement would later be known as the Harlem Renaissance.
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