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Catalog Data

Artist:
Aaron Douglas, 26 May 1899 - 2 Feb 1979  Search this
Sitter:
Aaron Douglas, 26 May 1899 - 2 Feb 1979  Search this
Medium:
Red Conte crayon on paper
Dimensions:
Sight: 31.8 × 23.2 cm (12 1/2 × 9 1/8")
Frame: 52.5 × 44 cm (20 11/16 × 17 5/16")
Culture:
Aaron Douglas: American\African American  Search this
Type:
Drawing
Place:
United States\New York\Kings\New York\Manhattan Island\Harlem
Date:
1925
Exhibition Label:
Aaron Douglas was one of the leading figures in the flowering of modernist African American culture in the early twentieth century. This 1925 self-portrait attests to the remarkable skill and draftsmanship, not to mention self-possession, of the young artist months after he had left his position teaching high school art in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Harlem, New York. Using red Conte crayon and exercising restraint to create highlights on the cheeks, chin, and forehead, Douglas depicts himself as a sensitive, sentient black man. During the Harlem Renaissance, when this work was made, many young African Americans were exploring their identities, their roots, and their place in the world. Douglas depicts himself just as his self- consciousness and his political yearnings were being stirred. At the time, he had begun creating illustra- tions for the Urban League’s journal, Opportunity, as well as for the landmark manifesto of the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke’s The New Negro (1925).
Aaron Douglas fue una de las figuras principales en el florecimiento de la cultura afroamericana modernista a principios del siglo XX. Este autorre- trato suyo de 1925 manifiesta no solo la extraor- dinaria destreza y técnica de dibujo de este joven artista, sino también su seguridad en sí mismo, habiendo abandonado meses antes su puesto de maestro de arte en una escuela secundaria de Kansas City, Misuri, para irse a Harlem, Nueva York. Empleando crayón Conté rojo, con discretos toques de luz en las mejillas, la barbilla y la frente, Douglas se representa aquí como un afroamericano sensible y lúcido. Esta obra se realizó durante el auge del arte afroamericano llamado Harlem Renaissance, cuando muchos jóvenes negros estaban explorando su iden- tidad, sus raíces y su lugar en el mundo. Douglas plasmó su imagen justo cuando se despertaba su conciencia personal y política. Había empezado a crear ilustraciones para la revista Opportunity de la Urban League y para el manifiesto emblemático del Harlem Renaissance, The New Negro (1925) de Alain Locke.
Topic:
Indeterminable  Search this
Self-portrait  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Male  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Education\Educator\Professor\University  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Visual Arts\Artist\Illustrator  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Visual Arts\Art Instructor  Search this
Aaron Douglas: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Muralist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows, in honor of Wendy Wick Reaves
Object number:
NPG.2017.73
Restrictions & Rights:
© Heirs of Aaron Douglas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2017.73