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Art of the American Black Experience: From Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance

Trace the history of African American experience in the United States, from Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance, by studying the powerful, sometimes searing art produced during these eras. To ensure lively, informed discussions, the course will be grounded in readings for each era—literature and speeches, court decisions and newspaper accounts—as we spend class time looking at the paintings and sculpture created by black and white artists alike. For instance, we’ll look at the Jim Crow South pictures of Winslow Homer after reading Richard Wright’s biography, Black Boy. We will view Jacob Lawrence’s Migration art series after reading sections of Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book, The Warmth of Other Suns. We will discuss the Harlem Renaissance works of Archibald Motley, Lois Mailou Jones, and Aaron Douglas after reading excerpts from Alain Locke’s The New Negro. This course is intended as the first of a series; the second course will focus on art from the civil rights era.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Knowledge of the history of African American experience in the United States, from Reconstruction through the Harlem Renaissance
  • Familiarity with the powerful, sometimes searing art produced during these eras

Ideal for

  • The curious and creative
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.