The Visual Blues

LSU Museum of Art. 2014. 87p. ed. by . illus. bibliog. ISBN 9780615878300. pap. $40. FINE ARTS
The Harlem Renaissance is the term used to identify one of the most remarkable periods of cultural creativity in African American history. It is notable for the achievements of black visual artists, musicians, composers, dancers, writers, and poets of the 1920s, but also for the common themes and expressions of black culture that united all the arts. This is the catalog accompanying an exhibition of Harlem Renaissance artworks held at the Louisiana State University Museum of Art. The thesis of both the exhibition and book is that much of the inspiration for the artistry of the Harlem Renaissance is the Southern roots of blues and jazz music. The text features four essays by scholars R.A. Lawson, John Lowe, Natalie A. Mault, and Margaret Rose Vendryes that each offer various analyses of that theme. Included are reproductions of the 58 works in the exhibition as well as historical photographs and portraits of some major figures of the era. A biography of each artist and a selected bibliography provides vital related information.
VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone interested in art and African American cultural history.
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