Henry Wilmer "Mike" Bannarn was an African-American artist, best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance period. He is known for his work in sculpture and as a character artist in the various paint mediums, Conté crayon and free-form sketch, he was born in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma, on July 17, 1910. When he was still a child, the family moved to Minneapolis, where he discovered his talent for art, he studied at the Minneapolis School of Arts. He worked as a Works Progress Administration artist for the Federal Art Project and taught art at the Harlem Community Art Center in New York City, where he was a noted contemporary and partner of another famous African-American artist, Charles Alston, with whom he ran the Alston-Bannarn Harlem Art Workshop in Harlem/NYC, NY, he was intimately associated with the "Harlem Renaissance" of the 1930s, being considered as one of the movement's preeminent contributors. Although he is known for his work in sculpture, he was skilled as a figurist and character artist in the various paint mediums, Conté crayon, free-form sketch, etc.
In 1941, he returned to Minnesota and entered a piece of sculpture in the Minnesota State Fair sculpture competition, where he was awarded the first prize. The much-honored artist had won a painting prize at the fair a decade earlier as well, representing one of the earliest achievements by an African-American artist in that state's history, he died on September 1965, in Brooklyn, New York. His works are represented in some of the most important collections in the US, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Howard University Gallery of Art, Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries. Few Bannarn works exist in private hands. At the April 26, 2007 sale conducted by Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers, Connecticut, a Bannarn original oil titled "Modernist Exhibition" sold for $24,000 USD, achieving a price nearly ten times its pre-auction estimate of $2500–$3500.
At a May 18, 2008, auction conducted by the Rose Hill Auction Gallery, New Jersey, an oil on board painting by Bannarn entitled "Seagulls" sold for $5,750 twenty times its pre-auction estimate of $200–$300. Minnesota State Fair 1928, Minneapolis Institute of Art 1932, Harmon Foundation 1933, PAFA 1934/36, American Negro Exhibition 1940, Minnesota Artists Association Annual 1940, Minnesota State Fair 1941, Atlanta University 1943, Hanley Gallery St. Paul, Minnesota 1945, Newton Gallery, 1945 Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN Charles Alston- partner, Alston-Bannarn Workshop, Harlem Community Art Center Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt- instructor George Oberteuffer - teacher Samuel Chatwood Burton - teacher Jacob Lawrence - student of Bannarn at the Harlem Art Workshop. Henry Barnnarn at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN
Architectural Forum was an American magazine that covered the homebuilding industry and architecture. Started in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1892 as The Brickbuilder, it absorbed the magazine Architect's world in October 1938, ceased publication in 1974. 1892–1916: The Brickbuilder 1917–1945: Architectural forum 1952–1954: The Magazine of building Full catalog record of The Brickbuilder at Hathi Trust Full catalog record of Architectural Forum at Hathi Trust Downloadable copies of The Brickbuilder at Google Books: v.1, 1892 v.2, 1893 v.4, 1895 v.6, 1897 v.7, 1898 v.8, 1899 v.9, 1900 v.23, 1914 v.24, 1915 v.25, 1916
Sargent Claude Johnson
Sargent Claude Johnson was one of the first African-American artists working in California to achieve a national reputation. He was known for Abstract Early Modern styles, he was a painter, ceramicist, graphic artist and carver. He worked with a variety of media, including ceramics, oil, terra-cotta and wood, he was in the Communist Party for most of his life. Sargent Johnson was the third of six children, born to a father of Swedish descent and mother of African-American and Cherokee ancestry, his father died in 1897, his mother died of tuberculosis only five years after in 1902. Early on, Sargent and his siblings went to live with their uncle, Sherman Jackson Williams, his wife, May Howard Jackson, in Washington D. C. May was a pioneer African American sculptor specializing in portrait busts with Negro themes, she undoubtedly influenced Sargent Johnson at an early age; the boys of the family were sent to an orphanage in Worcester and the girls to a Catholic school for African American and Native American girls in Pennsylvania.
Some of his siblings did not identify themselves as African American, chose to live as either Native Americans or Caucasians, though Sargent identified as African American. Johnson's transition from practicing artist to professional is undocumented, though some say he left from Boston to Chicago to live with some relatives. In 1915, Sargent Johnson moved to the San Francisco Bay area; the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, which had a stimulating influence on California art, took place shortly after his move. The same year, Sargent Johnson married Pearl Lawson and began studying drawing and painting at the A. W. Best School of Art, he attended the California School of Fine Arts from 1919 to 1923, where his teachers included the sculptors Beniamino Bufano and Ralph Stackpole. Consuelo Kanaga, a photographer of that time, knew him well and said of Johnson, "He was beautiful in his spirit, the way he talked, the way he thought, the way he worked, the way he felt. I don't mean, he did -- terrible problems --.
It was his spirit, the way he looked at everything." Johnson produced witty, sophisticated work that ranges from jaunty interpretations of African masks to lithographs to small scale figures. Sargent Johnson began showing his work with the Harmon Foundation of New York in 1926. Through the foundation, known for its support of African-American art, he exhibited many of his pieces and became locally and nationally known. There was a total of 87 pieces displayed at the show and a $150 prize for most outstanding work went to Johnson, "showing a porcelain head of a Negro child and two drawings, one of which, Defiant, is massively constructed and as simple in its planes as is so much of the modern Mexican work." He was not included in "American art" because of how his pieces ignored traditional western techniques and were inspired by foreign cultures, such as Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and others. In 1928, Johnson's award-winning artwork garnered him fame amongst artists in the Harlem Renaissance movement.
In the late 1930s, Sargent Johnson commissioned his work with the Federal Arts Project. As a member of the bohemian San Francisco Bay community and influenced by the New Negro Movement, Sargent Johnson's early work focused on racial identity. Sargent Johnson's work is notable for its clean simplicity and strength of conception and execution, he focused most of his work on his depictions of African Americans in redefining the image of the African American woman. Johnson said, "It is the pure American Negro I am concerned with, aiming to show the natural beauty and dignity in that characteristic lip and that characteristic hair and manner. Unless I can interest my race, I am sunk." "Negroes are a colorful race. Through this change in style, the importance of racial identity can still be seen in his figures. Johnson never made enough to support himself through his art, so he worked many odd jobs during the day while focusing on his art during the evenings and weekends, he continued to participate in local exhibitions and accepted private commissions to supplement his income.
Beginning in 1945, continuing through 1965, Sargent Johnson made a number of trips to Oaxaca and Southern Mexico and started incorporating the people and culture archeology, into his work. Other subjects included African American figures and Native Americans. Johnson began experimenting with different types of mediums such as ceramics and paint during this time also. In 1936, Johnson and his wife separated, his only daughter, was sent to live with her mother. But, in 1947, Johnson's former wife was hospitalized. In 1964, she died at Stockton State Hospital. Leading up to her death, Johnson visited her regularly, his wife and family had a profound impact on his artwork, as most of his pieces centered around those he loved. Johnson died at his home in California on October 1967, from a heart attack, he had been suffering from severe angina pectoris for nearly two decades. On February 23, 2010, Swann Galleries auctioned Sargent Claude Johnson's Untitled, a painted terra cotta sculpture, c. 1933-35, for $52,800 - an auction record at the time for the artist.
In 2009 the University of California, Be
Norman Lewis (artist)
Norman Wilfred Lewis was an American painter and teacher. Lewis, African-American, was associated with abstract expressionism, used representational strategies to focus on black urban life and his community's struggles. Norman Wilfred Lewis was born on July 1909 in New York, New York. Always interested in art, he had amassed a large art history library by the time. Lewis studied art with Augusta Savage. A lifelong resident of Harlem, he traveled extensively during the two years that he worked on ocean freighters. An important early influence was the sculptor and teacher Augusta Savage, who provided him with open studio space at her Harlem Community Art Center, he participated in Works Progress Administration art projects alongside Jackson Pollock, among others. Lewis began his career in 1930, with earlier figurative work, he at first painted what he saw, which ranged from Meeting Place, a swap meet scene, The Yellow Hat, a formal Cubist painting, to Dispossessed, an eviction scene, Jazz Musicians, a visual depiction of the bebop, being played in Harlem.
He painted social realism, painting with "an overtly figurative style, depicting bread lines and police brutality."Lewis said he struggled to express social conflict in his art, but in his years, focused on the inherently aesthetic. "The goal of the artist must be aesthetic development," he told art historian Kellie Jones, "and in a universal sense, to make in his own way some contribution to culture."Norman Lewis was the only African- American artist among the first generation of abstract expressionists. He did not fit into either category perfectly; as was noted in a catalogue accompanying a major retrospective of Lewis's paintings this omission seem clear enough. His work was overlooked many times because of his political involvement, because of the area where he lived, his skin colour at this time period had a major impact on his work life. In the late 1940s, his work became abstract, his total engagement with abstract expressionism was due to his disillusionment with America after his wartime experiences in World War II.
It seemed hypocritical that America was fighting "against an enemy whose master race ideology was echoed at home by the fact of a segregated armed forces." Seeing that art does not have the power to change the political state that society was in, he decided that people should develop their aesthetic skills more, instead of focusing on political art. Tenement I, Harlem Turns White, Night Walker No. 2 are all examples of his style. Twilight Sounds and Jazz Band are examples of his interest in conveying music. One of his best known paintings, Migrating Birds, won the Popular Prize at the Carnegie Museum's 1955 Carnegie International Exhibition, the New York Herald-Tribune calling the painting "one of the most significant of all events of the 1955 art year." His signature style in those decades included repetitive ideographic or hieroglyphic elements that allowed Lewis to incorporate narrative sequences into his paintings. His work includes Alabama II, Part Vision, New World Acoming, as well as a series called Seachange done in his last years.
In 1963 he was a founding member of the Spiral Group. Although represented by galleries, the recipient of many awards and good reviews, his work did not sell nearly as well as the other Abstract Expressionists he exhibited with, such as Mark Tobey or Mark Rothko, his body of work included paintings and murals. He supported himself, his wife and daughter, through teaching. In 1972, he received a grant from the Mark Rothko Foundation and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1975 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, he died unexpectedly in New York. Lewis was a founding member of Spiral, a group of artists and writers who met that included Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff; the group met "to discuss the potential of Black artists to engage with issues of racial equality and struggle in the 1960s through their work." Despite Spiral's short existence, it was impactful in the art world, as it called attention to many issues of racial inequality that existed at the time.
For instance, due to Spiral and other groups' continuous protest against the 1968 controversial exhibit "Harlem on My Mind" in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Black people became more visible in the art world. Before this exhibition, the Met did not feature anything on New York's cultural powerhouse neighborhood Harlem. Harlem is known for its art and music, but this exhibition featured no self-representation of that from the neighborhood. Instead, it was composed of photographs that a non-Harlemite photographer took of the people who lived there. Many people protested that more Black culture should be exhibited, instead of this kind of zoo exhibition, where there is an us versus them. List of Federal Art Project artists Bearden, Romare. A history of African-American artists: from 1792 to the present. Henderson, Harry, 1914-2003.. New York: Pantheon Books. Pp. 315 , – , 327. ISBN 0394570162. OCLC 25368962. Herskovic, Marika. American abstract expressionism of the 1950s: an illustrated survey with artists' statements and biographies.
Franklin Lakes, N. J.: New York School Press. Pp. 206 , – , 209. ISBN 0967799414. OCLC 50253062. Norman W. Lewis - Line
A tenement is a multi-occupancy building of any sort. In Scotland it refers to flats divided horizontally in an established building type, including desirable properties in affluent ares, but in other countries the term refers to a run-down apartment building or slum building. In parts of England Devon and Cornwall, the word refers to an outshot, or additional projecting part at the back of a terraced house with its own roof; the term tenement referred to tenancy and therefore to any rented accommodation. The New York State legislature defined it in the Tenement House Act of 1867 in terms of rental occupancy by multiple households, as Any house, building, or portion thereof, rented, let, or hired out to be occupied or is occupied, as the home or residence of more than three families living independently of one another and doing their own cooking upon the premises, or by more than two families upon a floor, so living and cooking and having a common right in the halls, yards, water-closets, or privies, or some of them.
In Scotland, it continues to be the most common word for a multiple-occupancy building, but elsewhere it is used as a pejorative in contrast to apartment building or block of flats. Tenement houses were either adapted or built for the working class as cities industrialized, came to be contrasted with middle-class apartment houses, which started to become fashionable in the 19th century. Late-19th-century social reformers in the US were hostile to both tenements and apartment houses; as the United States industrialized during the 19th century and workers from the countryside were housed in former middle-class houses and other buildings, such as warehouses, which were bought up and divided into small dwellings. Beginning as early as the 1830s in New York City's Lower East Side or the 1820s on Mott Street, three- and four-story buildings were converted into "railroad flats," so called because the rooms were linked together like the cars of a train, with windowless internal rooms; the adapted buildings were known as "rookeries," and these were a particular concern, as they were prone to collapse and fire.
Mulberry Bend and Five Points were the sites of notorious rookeries that the city worked for decades to clear. In both rookeries and purpose-built tenements, communal water taps and water closets were squeezed into the small open spaces between buildings. In parts of the Lower East Side, buildings were older and had courtyards occupied by machine shops and other businesses; such tenements were prevalent in New York, where in 1865 a report stated that 500,000 people lived in unhealthy tenements, whereas in Boston in 1845, less than a quarter of workers were housed in tenements. One reason New York had so many tenements was the large numbers of immigrants. Prior to 1867, tenements covered more than 90 percent of the lot, were five or six stories high, had 18 rooms per floor, of which only two received direct sunlight. Yards were a few feet wide and filled with privies. Interior rooms were unventilated. Early in the 19th century, many of the poor were housed in cellars, which became less sanitary after the Croton Aqueduct brought running water to wealthier New Yorkers: the reduction in well use caused the water table to rise, the cellar dwellings flooded.
Early housing reformers urged the construction of tenements to replace cellars, beginning in 1859 the number of people living in cellars began to decline. The Tenement House Act of 1867, the state legislature's first comprehensive legislation on housing conditions, prohibited cellar apartments unless the ceiling was 1 foot above street level; this was amended by the Tenement House Act of 1879, known as the Old Law, which required lot coverage of no more than 65 percent. As of 1869, New York State law defined a “tenement house” as “any house or building, or portion thereof, rented, leased let or hired out, to be occupied, or is occupied as the home or residence of three families or more living independently of each other, doing their cooking upon the premises, or by more than two families upon any floor, so living and cooking, but having a right in the halls, yards, water-closets or privies, or some of them.” L 1867, ch 908. The New York City Board of Health was empowered to enforce these regulations, but it declined to do so.
As a compromise, the "Old Law tenement" became the standard: this had a "dumbbell" shape, with air and light shafts on either side in the center, it covered 80 percent of the lot. James E. Ware is credited with the design. Public concern about New York tenements was stirred by publication in 1890 of Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, in 1892 by Riis's The Children of the Poor; the New York State Assembly Tenement House Committee report of 1894 surveyed 8,000 buildings with 255,000 residents and found New York to be the most densely populated city in the world, at an average of 143 people per acre, with part of the Lower East Side havin
Augusta Savage was an African-American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. She was a teacher whose studio was important to the careers of a generation of artists who would become nationally known, she worked for equal rights for African Americans in the arts. Augusta Christine Fells was born in Green Cove Springs, Florida on February 29, 1892, to Edward Fells, a Methodist minister, Cornelia Murphy. Augusta began making figures as a child small animals out of the natural red clay of her hometown, Green Cove Springs Florida, her father was a poor Methodist minister who opposed his daughter’s early interest in art. "My father kicked me four or five times a week,” Savage once recalled, “and whipped all the art out of me.” This was because at that time, he believed her sculpture to be a sinful practice, based upon his interpretation of the "graven images" portion of the Bible. She persevered, the principal of her new high school in West Palm Beach, where her family relocated in 1915, encouraged her talent and allowed her to teach a clay modeling class.
This began a lifelong commitment to teaching as well as to creating art. In 1907 Augusta Fells married John T. Moore, her only child, Irene Connie Moore, was born the following year. John died shortly thereafter. In 1915, she married James Savage. After their divorce in the early 1920s, Augusta Savage moved back to West Palm Beach. Savage continued to model clay, in 1919 was granted a booth at the Palm Beach County Fair where she was awarded a $25 prize and ribbon for most original exhibit. Following this success, she sought commissions for work in Jacksonville, before departing for New York City in 1921, she arrived with a letter of recommendation from the Palm Beach County Fair official George Graham Currie for sculptor Solon Borglum and $4.60. When Borglum discovered that she could not afford tuition at the School of American Sculpture, he encouraged her to apply to Cooper Union, a scholarship-based school, in New York City where she was admitted in October 1921, she was selected before 142 other men on the waiting list.
Her talent and ability so impressed the Cooper Union Advisory Council that she was awarded additional funds for room and board when she lost the financial support of her job as an apartment caretaker. From 1921 through 1923, she studied under sculptor George Brewster, she completed the four-year degree course in three years. In 1923 Savage applied for a Summer art program sponsored by the French government. Savage was upset and questioned the committee, beginning the first of many public fights for equal rights in her life. Though appeals were made to the French government to reinstate the award, they had no effect and Savage was unable to study at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts; the incident got press coverage on both sides of the Atlantic, the sole supportive committee member sculptor Hermon Atkins MacNeil – who at one time had shared a studio with Henry Ossawa Tanner – invited her to study with him. She cited him as one of her teachers. After completing studies at Cooper Union, Savage worked in Manhattan steam laundries to support herself and her family.
Her father had been paralyzed by a stroke, the family's home destroyed by a hurricane. Her family from Florida moved into her small West 137th Street apartment. During this time she obtained her first commission for a bust of W. E. B. Du Bois for the Harlem Library, her outstanding sculpture brought more commissions, including one for a bust of Marcus Garvey. Her bust of William Pickens Sr. a key figure in the NAACP, earned praise for depicting an African American in a more humane, neutral way as opposed to stereotypes of the time, as did many of her works. In 1923 Savage married Robert Lincoln Poston, a protégé of Garvey. Poston died of pneumonia aboard a ship while returning from Liberia as part of a Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League delegation in 1924. In 1925 Savage won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rome; this scholarship covered only tuition, she was not able to raise money for travel and living expenses. Thus, she was unable to attend.
In the 1920s writer and eccentric Joe Gould became infatuated with Savage. He wrote her "endless letters," telephoned her and wanted to marry her; this turned to harassment. Savage won the Otto Kahn Prize in a 1928 exhibition at The Harmon Foundation with her submission Head of a Negro. Yet, she was an outspoken critic of the fetishization of the "negro primitive" aesthetic favored by white patrons at the time, she publicly critiqued the director of The Harmon Foundation, Mary Beattie Brady, for her low standards for Black art and lack of understanding in the area of visual arts in general. In 1929 with pooled resources from the Urban League, Rosenwald Foundation, a Carnegie Foundation grant, donations from friends and former teachers, Savage was able to travel to France when she was 37, she worked in the studio of M. Benneteau. While the studio was encouraging of her work, Savage wrote that "...the masters are not in sympathy as they all have their own definite ideas and wish their pupils to follow their particular method..." and began working on her own in 1930.
Knowledge of Savage's talent and struggles became widespread in the African-American community.
William Johnson (artist)
William Henry Johnson was a Black American painter. Born in Florence, South Carolina, he became a student at the National Academy of Design in New York City, working with Charles Webster Hawthorne, he lived and worked in France, where he was exposed to modernism. After Johnson married Danish textile artist Holcha Krake, the couple lived for some time in Scandinavia. There he was influenced by the strong folk art tradition; the couple moved to the United States in 1938. Johnson found work as a teacher at the Harlem Community Art Center, through the Federal Art Project. Johnson's style evolved from realism to expressionism to a powerful folk style, for which he is best known. A substantial collection of his paintings and prints is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has organized and circulated major exhibitions of his works. William Henry Johnson was born March 18, 1901, in Florence, South Carolina, to Henry Johnson and Alice Smoot, he attended the first public school in the all-black Wilson School on Athens Street.
It is that Johnson was introduced to sketching by one of his teachers, Louise Fordham Holmes, who sometimes included art in her curriculum. Johnson practiced drawing by copying the comic strips in the newspapers, considered a career as a newspaper cartoonist, he moved from Florence, South Carolina, to New York City at the age of 17. Working a variety of jobs, he saved enough money to pay for classes at the prestigious National Academy of Design, he took a preparatory class with Charles Louis Hinton studied with Charles Courtney Curran and George Willoughby Maynard, all of whom emphasized classical portraiture and figure drawing. Beginning in 1923, Johnson worked with the painter Charles Webster Hawthorne, who emphasized the importance of color in painting. John studied with Hawthorne at the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the summers, paying for his tuition and lodging by working as a general handyman at the school. Johnson received a number of awards at the National Academy of Design, applied for a coveted Pulitzer Travel Scholarship in his final year.
When another student was given the award, Hawthorne raised nearly $1000 to enable Johnson to go abroad to study. Johnson arrived in Paris, France in the fall of 1927, he spent a year in Paris, had his first solo exhibition at the Students and Artists Club in November 1927. Next he moved to Cagnes-sur-Mer in the south of France, influenced by the work of expressionist painter Chaim Soutine. In France, Johnson learned about modernism. During this time, Johnson met the Danish textile artist Holcha Krake. Holcha was traveling with her sister Erna, a painter, Erna's husband, the expressionist sculptor Christoph Voll. Johnson was invited to join them on a tour of Corsica. Johnson and Holcha were attracted in spite of differences in race and age. Johnson returned to the United States in 1929. Fellow artist George Luks encouraged Johnson to enter his work at the Harmon Foundation to be considered for the William E. Harmon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement Among Negroes in the Fine Arts Field.
As a result, Johnson received the Harmon gold medal in the fine arts. He was applauded as a "real modernist", "spontaneous, firm, direct". Other winners of the fine art award include Palmer Hayden, May Howard Jackson and Laura Wheeler Waring. While in the United States, Johnson visited his family in Florence, where he painted a considerable number of new works, he was almost arrested while painting the Jacobia Hotel, a once-fashionable town landmark which had become a dilapidated house of ill-repute. Whether Johnson's actions or his choice of subject were at issue is unknown. During this visit, Johnson was able to publicly exhibit his paintings twice; the first occasion was at a meeting of the Florence County Teachers Institute on February 22, 1930. The second was at a local YMCA, her boss, Bill Covington, arranged for Johnson to exhibit 135 of his paintings for a single afternoon, on April 15, 1930. Although the Florence Morning News described Johnson condescendingly as a "humble... Negro youth", it stated that he had "real genius".
Johnson returned to Europe in 1930 by working his way to France on a freighter. He went to a Danish island, to rejoin Holcha Krake; the couple signed a prenuptial agreement on May 28, 1930, were married a few days in the town of Kerteminde. Johnson and his wife spent most of the 1930s in Scandinavia, where his interest in folk art influenced his painting. However, as Nazi sentiments increased in Germany and Europe in the late 1930s, many artists were affected. Johnson's brother-in-law Christoph Voll was fired from his teaching position, his art was labelled "degenerate". Johnson and Krake chose to move to the United States in 1938. With the help of Mary Beattie Brady, Johnson found work as a teacher at the Harlem Community Art Center. There he and other teachers instructed about 600 students per week, as part of a local Federal Art Project supported by the Works Progress Administration. Through the center Johnson met important Harlem inhabitants such as Henry Bannarn and Gwendolyn Knight, he immersed himself in African-American culture and traditions, producing paintings that were characterized by their folk art simplicity.
Johnson was determined to "paint his own people". He celebrated African American culture and imagery in the urban settings of pieces such as Street life - Harlem and Street Musicians, in the rural settings of Farm Couple at Work and Going to Market. Harsher realities of Negro life were depicted in Chain Gang and Moon over Harlem, a response t