Viewing page 16 of 57

This transcription has been completed. Contact us with corrections.


did some exploratory art works, and he became obsessed with art for decades thereafter.

Unlike Hathaway, Cooper was a self-taught artist.  Some of his most important works were those shown in the Harmon Foundation Exhibition of 1933, including The vanishing Washer Women, a painting which won an honorable mention that year.  While Cooper's art is not in the same high category as Hathaway's, he is significant to this study because he was a tireless promoter of the arts.  He organized a state-wide exhibition of Afro-American artists in 1934; he organized an exhibition that toured Black and White educational institutions in North Carolina and Virginia.  These were pioneer efforts in promoting Afro-American art to larger audiences and in using art to advance interracial relations in the South.

Portrait artists have to walk a fine line between satisfying the demands of their clients for accurate representation on the one hand and their own desire for more creative expression on the other.  Both Hathaway and Cooper served as chroniclers of the Black experience through portraiture.  But his had its beginnings in the career of Joshua H. Johnston (c. 1765 - c. 1830).  A portrait painter who had a wide following among the wealthy white families of Maryland and Virginia, Johnston, however did leave for posterity at least two portraits of Blacks, one being the sensitively rendered Portrait of a Cleric.  This tradition in Afro-American art of reflecting the character of the Southern region through the depiction of the images of its people, begins with Johnston, it becomes more directly connected to the Black South in the portraiture of Harleston, Hathaway, Cooper, Douglas, and Herman Kofi Bailey, among others.

Transcription Notes:
one unknown word at bottom - It is "Kofi" - his nickname.