Paul Laurence Dunbar (Primary Title)
A leading figure of the 1920s New Negro Movement, otherwise known as the Harlem Renaissance, the Mississippi-born Richmond Barthé studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before relocating to Manhattan in 1929.
These striking busts—of famed political leader and educator Booker T. Washington and acclaimed black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar—belong to Barthé’s 1928 portrait series of eminent African Americans, which also included depictions of the artist Henry Ossawa Tanner and historical political leader Toussaint L’Ouverture. Both works may have been featured in the exhibition American Negro Artists, sponsored by the Harmon Foundation. Established in 1922, the foundation was the first to support and promote the work of African American artists through juried exhibitions.
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