The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art: Works on Paper

On view: September 15, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Exhibition Opening Reception: September 15, 2017   RSVP

See nearly 70 watercolors, prints and drawings by leading African-American artists of the 20th century. Curated from one of the nation’s most celebrated private collections of African-American art, this special exhibition features works by such luminaries as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and Jacob Lawrence.

The early 20th century saw an exodus of African-Americans from the rural, agricultural South to the urban, industrial North. This great migration impacted every aspect of American culture. In New York City, it led to a revitalization of music, literature, and art that has been referred to as the Harlem Renaissance. The works in this exhibition chronicle African-American life during this period and trace the lasting impact the artistic contributions of Black Americans of the time have had on American culture.

Included in the exhibition are drawings, etchings, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, gouaches, linoleum and color screen prints, depicting cultural identity through images of families, community, loneliness, urban workers, rural farmers, poverty, success, cultural pride, dejection, political commentary and celebration. 

[smartslider2 slider=”77″]

The 69 works on paper in the exhibition date from the late 1800s to 2002 and represent just a fraction of what is contained in The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of San Antonio, TX, one of the country’s major collections of African American art. Esteemed art historian, David Driskell, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland at College Park, calls the Kelley Collection “one of the finest that has been assembled tracing the history of African American art.”

Noted artists include Ron Adams, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Eldzier Cortor, and Margaret Burroughs; Philadelphia area artists Allen Freelon, Raymond Seth, Paul Keene, Horace Pippin, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Dox Thrash, and Samuel J. Brown; and living artists Thornton Dial, Allyson Saar, Whitfield Lovell, Sam Middleton, Dean Mitchell, and Ike Morgan.

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art: Works on Paper was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. The exhibition is made possible by Corning Incorporated – Office of Global Diversity & Inclusion.






Events Admission Tickets Become a Member

What's Happening
at The Rockwell


No events found for 2024.

Don't miss a thing!

Be the first to know about activities at The Rockwell by signing up for our e-newsletter. Choose the topics that interest you: exhibitions and collections news, live music events, lectures, family and youth events, education news, volunteer opportunities, and new offerings from The Museum Store.

Sign up for our e-newsletter