“Directions In Afro-American Art”

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

The exhibition “Directions in Afro-American Art” occurred this fall at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. The artists were chosen by a committee of four black artists: Romare Bearden, Jeff Donaldson, Phyllis Thompson and Rosalind Jeffries who also wrote the catalogue essay. The format was sensible; 28 artists were selected and represented by an average of four works each. Each of the four committee members was represented by one work. So were Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Charles White and Hale A. Woodruff, who along with Bearden, are cited in the catalogue as “pioneers of 20-century Afro-American Art.”

In his foreword to the catalogue, the museum’s director, Thomas Leavitt, sets forth four directions in Afro-American Art, suggested by Bearden, which are represented by these 28 artists: 1) art of social protest;

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