Beyond the Harlem Renaissance

TJC Gallery, Spartanburg, South Carolina
February 20, 2014 – April 2, 2014

Following the example set by W. E. B. Du Bois and Alaine Locke during the New Negro Movement of the 1920s through 1940s, pioneering African American artists supported cultural agendas that would benefit black communities and improve public perception of their race. Early efforts were concentrated in Northern urban centers, such as Harlem and Philadelphia, where African American populations swelled due to the migration of millions of black Southerners eager to escape Jim Crow. Beyond these metropolitan areas, however, a simultaneous cultural renaissance was occurring in Washington DC, Atlanta, and other Southern cities. Spanning the twentieth century, this exhibition presents paintings created by the Southern forerunners of African American art alongside works by their innovative successors, highlighting their connections and examining their multifaceted interests, techniques, and artistic styles.

Beyond the Harlem Renaissance is the curatorial capstone for TJC's inaugural graduate fellow, Sandy McCain, a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia. The presentation includes works by Benny Andrews, Sam Gilliam, Hayward Oubre, Alma Thomas, Bob Thompson, Leo Twiggs, Ellis Wilson, and Hale Woodruff.