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A Study of Negro Artists

A Study of Negro Artists(1937)

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A black artist is shown painting a seascape from a waterfront dock of New York City. Unidentified artists are shown working in various other occupations, earning livings until recognition comes. The occupations depicted include subway car inspectors and drivers, street sweepers, typists, telephone operators, office workers, postal workers, elevator operators and window washers. A number of black New York artists are shown with their works, including sculptors Richmond Barthé, Augusta Savage and William Ellisworth Artis; photographer James Latimer Allen; painters Aaron Douglas, Palmer Hayden, Benjamin Spurgeon Kitchin and the late Malvin Gray Johnson; textile designer Lois Mailou Jones; and Georgette Seabrooke, who does ink drawings. Sculpture derived from "African primitives" is shown, and it is stated, "Beautifying useful objects was the African's creed. His designs have influenced such modern artists as Picasso and Matisse." In Harlem, the New York Public Library, 135th St. Branch, which houses the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints, is seen. At the library, a landscape painting by Robert S. Duncanson is shown, as are murals by Aaron Douglas. Black artist-teachers are seen working with their students; the teachers include Charles Alston and Susie Maribel McIver. At the 7th Avenue and West 135th Street YMCA, artist-teachers Richard Wilson Lindsey and William Ellisworth Artis are shown, as is university professor Hale A. Woodruff. Also depicted are some of the professional New York galleries that welcome work by black artists, including Delphic Studios, which is presenting an exhibition of paintings by Suzanna Ogunjani. The Harmon Foundation, at which the opening reception for a show of paintings by Cuban Negro artist Pastor Argudin y Pedroso is also seen. Examples of fine arts found in the homes of prominent American blacks include "The Governor's House in Tangier" by Henry O. Tanner, etchings by Albert Alexander Smith, and "Sammy" by Sargent Johnson. Finally, the Whitney Museum of American Art is shown as a representative of galleries housing black works in permanent exhibits with representative American art.