African American Art in the 20th Century presents a selection of 50 paintings, sculpture, and prints by thirty-six black artists who explored the African American experience from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights era and the decades beyond, which saw tremendous social and political changes. In response, these artists created an image of America that recognizes individuals and community and acknowledges the role of art in celebrating the multivalent nature of American society.
African American Art in the 20th Century is a traveling exhibition organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The C.F Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go. The William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund provided financial support. The exhibition is curated by Smithsonian American Art Chief Curator, Virginia Mecklenburg. Most of the artworks in the exhibition are drawn from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s rich collection of African American art. Three works by Elizabeth Catlett are loaned from the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art collection through the support of Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections-Sharing Project, supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family. Support for the exhibition at the Dubuque Museum of Art is generously provided by Art Bridges.
Image credit: Sargent Johnson, Mask, ca. 1930-1935, copper on wood base, 15 ½ x 13 ½ x 6 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation, 1966.27.4