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Columbus Museum of Art marks the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance
Jacob Lawrence, The Long Stretch, 1949. Egg tempera on hardboard, 20 x 24 in. Bill and Holly Marklyn.


COLUMBUS, OH.- 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual, social, and artistic explosion of African American culture that erupted in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City and spread across the cities of the greater Midwest, including Columbus, from 1918 to the 1950s. Organized by the Columbus Museum of Art with Guest Curator Wil Haygood, the exhibition I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 offers a fresh look at the visual art and material culture of this groundbreaking moment in American cultural history, and serves as an anchor in a citywide celebration of the Harlem Renaissance.

“This exhibition has its origins in September 2015, when the Lincoln Theater Association and the King Arts Complex celebrated the release of Wil Haygood’s book Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America,” said Columbus Museum of Art Executive Director Nannette V. Maciejunes. “For those of us in the audience, it became clear that much of Wil’s writing has been connected to the Harlem Renaissance and its continuing legacy. For me, it became clear that Wil was the perfect person to curate an exhibition exploring the Harlem Renaissance.”

Guest Curator Wil Haygood grew up on the Near East Side of Columbus in a jazz-filled landscape that was an exuberant legacy of the Harlem Renaissance. He is best known as the author of The Butler, which was turned into an award-winning movie featuring, among others, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Alan Rickman, and Vanessa Redgrave. Haygood has also written biographies of Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson and Thurgood Marshall, among others. In 1983, he was dispatched by the Boston Globe to write a three-part series on the Harlem Renaissance, which put him in direct contact with many of the artists. In his selections for the exhibition and his writing in the accompanying catalog, he captures the range and breadth of a sweeping movement, which saw the blossoming of a myriad of talents by an astonishing array of black artists, writers and musicians.

“Researching the Harlem Renaissance today, as our nation is undergoing another racial crisis, it became clear to me that when freedom erupted in this country in the early 1900’s, art and poetry and writing were both a fuel for and expression of that freedom,” said Haygood. “Martin Luther King Jr. once said that only light can drive out darkness. Throughout our nation’s history of dark tyranny against minorities, artists’ light has served to change minds.”

Artists featured in this original exhibition include Romare Bearden, Allen Rohan Crite, Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley, Horace Pippin, and Augusta Savage. In addition, the exhibition presents an important selection of photographs by James Van Der Zee, as well as, dozens of vernacular photographs from the Ralph DeLuca Collection of African American Vernacular Photography. Through paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, contemporary documents and ephemera, the exhibition illuminates multiple facets of the era—the lives of its people, the art, the literature, the music and the social history. A selection of books, music, films and posters from the period further showcases the innovative and expansive cultural output produced. The range of works sheds light on the ways in which creativity transformed contemporary representations of the black experience in America.

More than 30 Columbus area arts and cultural organizations are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with programming throughout 2018 and into early 2019. There will be dozens of opportunities for the public to experience the work of Harlem Renaissance artists, their legacy and connection to Columbus, as well as the work of Columbus-based African American artists through exhibitions, performances, festivals, film, video, community conversations and more.





Today's News

October 20, 2018

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'Romance and magic': Marie Antoinette's jewels on show before auction

Urban Encounters: Ateneum Art Museum exhibits Finnish art from the 20th century

Artist Sanford Biggers's sculpture honoring Michael Brown added to CAM exhibition

Major sculpture by Lynn Chadwick donated to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Rare 1956 Ferrari 290 MM leads RM Sotheby's Los Angeles auction

Simone Leigh wins Hugo Boss Prize 2018

Remai Modern outpaces membership, revenue expectations in first year of operation

Kunsthalle Bremen opens the largest presentation on Hans Christian Andersen as a fine artist

Restored 'The Private Life of Henry VIII' to world premiere at 62nd BFI London Film Festival

Exhibition examines how artists depicted their experiences of conflict through monsters and mythic figures

Columbus Museum of Art marks the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance

$100K print from Picasso's Blue Period comes to auction

Lyman Allyn Art Museum opens new permanent exhibit dedicated to Louis Comfort Tiffany

Exhibition explores the technologic and surreal imaginaries of 16 international contemporary artists

Jerwood Gallery opens exhibition featuring the work of five ground-breaking artists

Exhibition at Moderna Museet gauges the current position of Swedish contemporary art

Major exhibition focuses on fictional pirates in popular culture

Freeman's announces highlights in its Fall Modern & Contemporary Art auction

Sophie Calle brings two new projects to Perrotin Paris

Garrison Art Center opens a three-person show curated by Tamar Zinn

12-pound Moon Rock sold for more than $600k at auction

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