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Take a look at Douglas' paintings and see if you can pinpoint influences from African art and sculpture.




The Harlem Renaissance


Born in Kansas in 1898, Douglas received a BA in art from the University of Nebraska. Douglas taught art in Kansas City for a few years until he decided to pursue a career as an artist and headed to New York to earn his MA from Columbia University. Douglas also studied with Winold Reiss, an illustrator from Germany, who encouraged him to look to African art and themes for inspiration in his work. Douglas soon began integrating African design in his work which caught the attention of Alain Locke, who later called Douglas the "pioneering Africanist." Douglas designed and illustrated Alain Locke's "The New Negro" and contributed regularly to such widely read journals as the NAACP's THE CRISIS and The Urban League's OPPORTUNITY. In 1928, Douglas became the first president of the Harlem Artists Guild, which was successful in helping African American artists obtain projects under the Works Progress Administration. In 1940 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he founded the Art Department at Fisk University and taught for 29 years.

Related Artists:
Palmer Hayden
Archibald Motley
Ellis Wilson
Augusta Savage


Song of The Towers (1934)
Click to enlarge


Into Bondage (1936)
Click to enlarge





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
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