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Joye Vailes Shepperd

artist, was born in Richmond, Virginia, to John and Ophelia Cortor. The following year the Cortors moved to Chicago, Illinois, as part of the Great Migration. In 1910 fewer than fifty thousand blacks lived in Chicago; by 1920 the number had tripled In search of a better education and environment for their son the Cortors first moved to the South Side home to a thriving African American community John Cortor operated a modest business installing electricity into homes and repairing small electrical appliances he eventually saved enough to open a grocery store and earned the luxury of indulging in his favorite pastimes A motorcycle enthusiast and a sportsman he also learned to pilot a small airplane He belonged to a group of pioneering African American pilots and prided himself on the fruits of his practical brand of hard work ingenuity and self determination Though John Cortor was not ...

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David C. Driskell

Edwin A. Harelston was born in Charleston, South Carolina. His father was a seaman, Captain Edwin Guillard Harleston, who became one of Charleston's leading undertakers and died at age seventy-six on April 21, 1931, shortly before his son's death. Edwin Agustus's early education did not prepare him for the career of an artist, even though he expressed interest in art at an early age. Instead he earned a B.A. degree in 1904 from Atlanta University in Georgia where he excelled in several sports From Atlanta he went with the blessings of his family to Harvard University in Massachusetts hoping to become a physician The urge to gain creative expression in the visual arts outweighed his interest in medicine however and he spent seven years studying at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts During his stay in Boston he pursued with distinction the study of anatomy ...

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Mary Anne Boelcskevy

painter and civil rights activist, was born in Charleston, South Carolina. “Teddy,” as he was called, was one of six children of Edwin Gailliard Harleston and Louise Moultre. Harleston's father, born in 1852, was one of eight children of the white plantation owner William Harleston and his slave Kate. Edwin Gailliard Harleston had worked as a rice planter but returned to Charleston and his family's Laurel Street home in search of a better living for his-wife and children. There he ran a produce-transporting business for a few years and then brought his nickname “Captain” along when he left boating in 1896 to set up the Harleston Brothers Funeral Home with his brother Robert Harleston a former tailor The segregated funeral business meant they would have no competition from whites Most of Captain s sons were uninterested in joining the business after their uncle Robert left however ...

Article

David Michel

artist, was born Charles Wilbert White in Chicago, to Charles White Sr., a Creek Indian and construction worker, and Ethelene Gary, a domestic worker originally from Mississippi, who had been working since the age of eight. White's parents never married, and after his father died, when Charles was eight, Ethel married Clifton Marsh, a factory worker and alcoholic. The couple divorced when Charles was in his early teens. White's mother encouraged her son's budding artistic voice, and their close relationship underlies his later works, especially images that put the African American woman at the center of black life. The chaos and poverty of his childhood was stabilized by Charles's interest and skill at drawing. He earned good grades until shortly after entering Englewood High School when, having discovered Alain Leroy Locke's The New Negro and other books by and about African Americans at the local ...

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Amy Helene Kirschke

artist. Hale Aspacio Woodruff was born in Cairo, Illinois, but spent much of his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from high school he attended the Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. Like many of the Harlem Renaissance artists and indeed other serious American artists of any race, Woodruff traveled to Paris to receive the best training possible. He had the support of many patrons in Indianapolis and served as a correspondent for the Indianapolis Star newspaper, regularly sending home columns about his life in Paris.

Woodruff returned to the United States in 1931, when he was hired by Atlanta University to direct its art department. At Atlanta University, Woodruff was virtually a one-man department, with some help from artists such as Nancy Elizabeth Prophet He was one of a handful of studio art professors in the state of Georgia and also taught at Spelman College and ...

Article

American painter, printmaker, and teacher . He was a leading artist of the Harlem Renaissance ( see African American art §I 2. ) and studied at the John Herron Institute, Indianapolis, the school of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and the Académie Scandinave and the Académie Moderne, Paris. He also worked with Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris (1931) and studied mural painting with Diego Rivera in Mexico City (1936 From the European schools he learnt strong composition and the narrative power of Goya He was concerned to amplify the problems of Black Americans and his murals influenced by Rivera carry sharp commentaries on subjects such as the poor social conditions of his compatriots and forebears in Georgia the Amistad slave uprising and the creation of Talladega College e g the Amistad Murals Talladega College AL In the South Woodruff discovered and ...

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Lisa E. Rivo

artist and teacher, was born in Cairo, Illinois, the only child of Augusta (Bell) Woodruff, a domestic worker, and George Woodruff, who died when his son was quite young. After his father's death, Woodruff and his mother moved to east Nashville, Tennessee. Art instruction was not available in his segregated public school, so Woodruff drew on his own, mostly copying from books, and later as a cartoonist for his high school newspaper.

After graduating from high school in 1918, Woodruff moved to Indianapolis, Illinois, where he held several menial jobs while living at the YMCA. From 1920 to 1922 he studied landscape painting with William Forsyth at the Herron School of Art, while drawing weekly cartoons for the local African American newspaper, The Indianapolis Ledger After a short stint in Chicago where he studied briefly at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago he returned ...

Article

Robert Fay

Hale Aspacio Woodruff was born in Cairo, Illinois. He attended public schools in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was raised by his mother. In 1920, he moved to Indianapolis to study art at the John Herron Art Institute, supporting himself with part-time work as a political cartoonist. He developed an interest in African art during this period, which influenced his later work. In 1926 Woodruff won a Harmon Foundation Award to study at the Académie Moderne de la Grande Chaumière in Paris from 1927 to 1931.

Woodruff returned to the United States in 1931 and founded the art department at Atlanta University where he helped to develop a cohesive national African American arts community In addition to teaching Woodruff brought exhibitions to Atlanta University that featured a wide range of past and present African American artists who were often excluded from mainstream art exhibitions To further promote African ...

Article

Caryn E. Neumann

a self-taught artist who rose from the slums to prominence as a muralist, was born in the historically black Liberty City section of Miami. His Bahamian mother encouraged him to draw spontaneously as a child. Unfortunately, he did not stick with drawing and, at eighteen, received a four-year sentence in Raiford State Prison in Florida for armed robbery. While behind bars, Young discovered a love for the arts. He started to draw again. Reading a book on Chicago mural artists shortly after his release prompted Young to realize that he could paint rather than stand on a street corner all day. He quickly began drawing and collaging books, taping up his walls with sketches and paintings, and covering scraps of wood, bottles, and carpet rolls with washes of color and exuberant figuration.

Young is a product of the popular mural movement that emerged in the late 1960s in black Chicano ...