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The Father of Black American Art

Aaron Douglas (1899-1979) Charcoal, Cont? crayon 24 15/16 ? 18 7/8 in. (63.4 x 48 cm.)
Spencer Museum purchase: Peter T. Bohan Art Acquisition Fund
Aaron Douglas (1899-1979)Charcoal, Cont? crayon24 15/16 ? 18 7/8 in.(63.4 x 48 cm.)

University of Maryland emeritus professor David Driskell discusses the life and work of Topeka-born artist Aaron Douglas, who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.


Kansas City, MO – After this weekend, you'll have to go to Washington DC, New York City or Nashville to catch an exhibition of the work of Topeka native Aaron Douglas, organized by the Spencer Museum at KU. After Douglas graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1922, he taught art for several years at Lincoln High School in Kansas City. Three years later, he moved to New York City and became a key figure in the African American arts movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Douglas ended up teaching for 30 years at the historically black Fisk University in Nashville, which is where art historian and painter David Driskell met him.

University of Maryland-College Park Professor Emeritus David Driskell was in Kansas City this weekend (December 2, 2007) to speak at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which recently acquired one of Douglas's works. He told KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross about Douglas' development as an artist, and why Driskell considers him the "Father of Black American Art."

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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