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Harlem Renaissance Show

This is a fabulous, not-to-be-missed show, closing at the Met on July 28th.

I felt an enormous joy to see the creative power of so many artists,

coupled with a rueful awareness that almost all were unknown to me.

The show doesn't dwell on the obstacles these painters had to overcome to produce these images. And the paintings don't dwell on sorrow. Instead they are filled with the warmth of family life, the excitement of the clubs, and the beauty of the world. The portraits of remarkable men and women alone are worth seeing..

I want to catch the Harlem Renaissance show again before it closes to take better note of the extraordinary talents I hadn't known. I hope the Met's exhibit will bring these artists the widespread attention by other museums that they so richly deserve.

I was particularly struck by the work of William H. Johnson. His paintings, which look like sophisticated "folk art,"

reflect a highly trained artist's return to his roots, after studying classical art at the National Academy of Design and learning from works by the Impressionists, Cézanne, Van Gogh and other while in Europe. For more see

Johnson's art, including "Jitterbug", above, and "Three Friends" and "Portrait with Sunflowers" below, needs to be seen in person for a full appreciation of his unique, nuanced, vibrant use of color.


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