The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism Exhibit

 What a magnificent exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Girl in Pink Dress by Laura Wheeler Waring, ca. 1927

Featuring 160 works of art - paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, and various types of ephemera - this exhibit spans the rich cross-disciplinary artistic and cultural period of African-American life.  Through these vast and varied works of art, visitors can explore the myriad of ways Black artists depicted modern life in the 1920s-40s in NYC's Harlem and nationwide.

Langston Hughes by Winold Reiss, 1925
Girls in a Green Cap by Laura Wheeler Waring, 1930

Dr. Murrell, the curator of the exhibition was present during my visit. It was a pleasure to meet her and to hear about the vast research that went into making the exhibit successful.  I was excited to see the inclusion of the beautiful paintings by artist Laura Wheeler Waring and the intricate sculpture "Lift Every Voice (The Harp)" by Augusta Savage.  Although women writers, dancers, actresses, and singers are associated with the Harlem Renaissance, women visual artists are less-known.  This exhibition positions men's contributions next to women's like when we see William H. Johnson's painting "Man in a Vest" next to Laura Wheeler Waring's painting "Girl in a Green Cap."
Artwork by William H. Johnson and Laura Wheeler Waring

Some of the artworks are on loan from the collections of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including Clark Atlanta University, Fisk University, Hampton University, and Howard University. 
Two Public School Teachers by Winold Reiss, 1925

The Actress by Winold Reiss, 1925

As one visitor said, "There are many things I did know and many things I did not know."

On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from February 25 to July 28, 2024