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  • Posted By: linlin
  • Date Posted: 11/24/2010
  • Category: Arts
  • Words: 1167
  • Pages: 5
  • Views: 1033
  • Rank: 114

Aaron Douglas

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Aaron Douglas

People may ask, what other than a tornado can come out of Kansas? Well, Aaron Douglas was born of May 26, 1899 in Topeka, Kansas. Aaron Douglas was a "Pioneering Africanist" artist who led the way in using African- oriented imagery in visual art during the Harlem Renaissance of 1919- 1929. His work has been credited as the catalyst for the genre incorporating themes in form and ordnum that affirm the validity of the black consciousness and experience in America. His parents were Aaron and Elizabeth Douglas. In 1922, he graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Fine Arts in Lincoln. Who thought that this man would rise to meet W.E.B. Du Bois's 1921 challenge, calling for the transforming hand and seeing eye of the artist to lead the way in the search for the African American identity. Yet, after a year of teaching art in Kansas City, Missouri, Douglas moved to New York City's Harlem neighborhood in 1924 and began studying under German artist Winold Reiss. His mentor discouraged Douglas's penchant for traditional realist painting and encouraged him to explore African art for design elements would express racial commitment in his art. The young painter embraced the teachings of Reiss to develop a unique ordnum incorporating African- American and black American subject matter. He soon had captured the attention of the leading black scholars and activists. About the time of his marriage on June 18, 1924, to Alta Sawyer, Douglas began to create illustrations for the periodicals. Early the following year, one of his illustrations appeared on the front cover of Opportunity magazine, which awarded Douglas its first prize for drawing. Also, in 1925, Douglas's illustrations were published in Alain Looke's survey of the Harlem Renaissance, The New Negro. Publisher Looke called Douglas a "pioneering Africanist," and ...

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