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a881: : SunTimes: Painting the hues of history (fwd)
From: Paulette Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Regarding the posts on Toussaint Louverture:
What wonderful information and good references !
We are working together on a project here...
(our Consortium is made out of scholars from the area MIT, BU, Tufts,
Brandeis, Holy Cross and Harvard)
and I have suggested an exhibit as part of our interdisciplinary project
on Toussaint next Fall...
Following up on M. Lemieux's message and the Suntimes article
I wonder if this exhibit at NorthWestern (or part of the collection) can
and how I could get in touch with the Curator.. or someone in charge,
to find out...
Any ideas would be welcome.
Paulette Anne Smith
> From: JD Lemieux <email@example.com>
> Painting the hues of history
> February 17, 2002
> BY LISA LENOIR staff reporter
> Artist Jacob Lawrence interpreted the African-American
> experience in striking narrative paintings that have
> become the prized possessions of museums and private
> collections. Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and
> John Brown as well as the Great Migration continue to
> be among his most notable works.
> But before he created these more popular works, he
> told the story of a little known historical figure,
> Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave who helped lead
> the Haitian revolt of 1791-1804 and found the Republic
> of Haiti.
> Housed in Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh
> Block Museum of Art, ''The Life of Toussaint
> L'Ouverture'' chronicles a series of 15 events,
> starting with the protagonist's birth and ending with
> his victory over the French.
> ''This sets the stage for a lot of his works,'' says
> Jane Friedman, the museum's educational coordinator.
> ''This introduced his narrative style.''
> Lawrence, who died in 2000, first produced the series
> of paintings between 1937 and 1938, drawing on the
> sources from Charles Beard's biography of Toussaint
> and W.E.B. DuBois' play based on Toussaint's life. He
> created 41 paintings, using distinctive flat vivid
> colors, dynamic composition and spatial distortion.
> Then from 1986 to 1997, he revisited the works,
> producing 15 screen prints in which he made
> significant alterations from his original works. He
> doubled the size from the original panels and
> brightened the palette for dramatic impact.
> Comparing two works, ''Contemplation'' and ''Toussaint
> at Enery,'' illustrates this difference.
> In the painting of ''Contemplation,'' Lawrence shows a
> back view of Toussaint leaning over a table in a white
> shirt. In the print, the figure wears a red vest. This
> red tone translates into the fire-like blades of grass
> shown in ''Toussaint at Enery.'' When mixed with
> bright yellow and blue, the drama of the conquest
> comes through.
> In all of his works, Lawrence tried to follow the
> urging of Alain Locke, the primary theorist of the
> Harlem Renaissance. Locke encouraged black artists to
> pull from African sources and create works that
> embodied resistance.
> ''The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture'' serves as a
> testament to the value of such an approach. Layering
> African history with art enables viewers to walk away
> not only culturally enriched but intellectually
> View the prints through March 31 at the Mary and Leigh
> Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, 1967 S.
> Campus Dr., Evanston. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
> Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8
> p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed
> Mondays. Admission is free.
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