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Charles White


We celebrate Charles White. Never underestimate the power of exposing children to art early in life. White’s mother took him to the @artinstitutechi Art Institute of Chicago early in life. She also gave him his first set of oil paints at the age of 7.


Did you know that Charles White was the contemporary of many of the Black artists that we’ve covered so far? Some of his closest friends were Harry Belafonte, Jacob Lawrence, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and W. E. B. DuBois. After reading Alain Locke's book The New Negro: An Interpretation, a critique of the Harlem Renaissance, White's social views changed. He learned after reading Locke's text about important African American figures in American history, and questioned his teachers on why they were not taught to students in school, causing some to label him a "rebel problematic child".[


As was the case for numerous African American artists who came of age in the first part of the twentieth century, White was turned away from two art schools, to which he had won scholarships, before earning an award to attend the Art Institute of Chicago, from which he graduated in 1938. Soon after, he began working for the Works Progress Administration, first in the easel division and then as a muralist. He married sculptor Elizabeth Catlett in 1941, and they moved briefly to New Orleans, where both taught at Dillard University and experienced firsthand the violence and humiliation of the Jim Crow–era South.


White's anger and subsequent resolve became a raison d'être of his art making; as he put it, "Paint is the only weapon I have to fight what I resent. If I could write I would write about it. If I could talk I would talk about it. Since I paint, I must paint about it."


White was an educator who shared his passion with his students that ultimately created a legacy of introspective and brilliant artists of our day.

He influenced many important Black artists namely, Kerry James Marshall @kerryjamesmarshs and many others.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/xw9j4q/moma-exhibition-black-artist-charles-white

https://news.artnet.com/market/charles-white-market-hed-tktktkt-1365961

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_White_(artist)


*I do not own the rights to this music*

@themuseumofmodernart

@lacma


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