25 March 2024


Zoom lecture

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism

A lecture on the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

(25 Feb. – 28 July 2024)

with Chris Boïcos

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Black Belt, 1934, Estate of Archibald John Motley Jr.
Archibald J. Motley Jr., Black Belt, 1934, Estate of Archibald John Motley Jr.

In February 2024, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present the groundbreaking exhibition The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism. Through some 160 works of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and ephemera, it will explore the comprehensive ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday life in New York City’s Harlem and the new black neighborhoods across the nation in the early decades of the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans began to move away from the rural South. The first art museum survey of the subject in New York City since 1987, the exhibition will establish the Harlem Renaissance and the modern Black subject as central to the development of international modern art.


Featured artists include Charles Alston, Aaron Douglas, Meta Warrick Fuller, William H. Johnson, Archibald Motley, Winold Reiss, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and Laura Wheeler Waring. These artists will be shown in direct juxtaposition with portrayals of international African diasporan subjects by European counterparts ranging from Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, and Pablo Picasso to Germaine Casse, Jacob Epstein, and Ronald Moody.


A significant percentage of the works on show come from historically Black Colleges and Universities in the US, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, as well as significant private collections and major European lenders.

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