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Aaron Douglas

  • CountryUnited States
  • Born1899
  • Died1979


Aaron Douglas studied at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and later taught drawing in a high school in Kansas City. In the mid-1920s, he moved to New York City where he became an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a period which would become crucial for the development of a visual language and of political consciousness among African-American artists. Douglas began work as an illustrator of short stories and poetry by African-American authors. However, he would develop the idiosyncratic visual vocabulary of his later works in easel paintings and large-scale murals. In these, he used abstract elements simultaneously as references to motifs of traditional African art and to establish complex links to everyday reality in Harlem.