Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From New Orleans to the Harlem Renaissance - Archibald John Motley, Jr 1891-1981



Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) My Grandmother 1922

Motley explained, "She was a pygmy from British East Africa, a little bit of a person, very small, she was about 4 feet, 8 or 9 inches. She used to tell me an awful lot about slavery...when she first came to live with us I think she was about 87 or 89 years old. She lived to be 102...We had an upstairs & downstairs, we had 2 bedrooms upstairs, & I had a studio room...there was a little bedroom off the side of the studio where she slept. Of course, during the day she'd be downstairs all day. In those days the hot water was heated by a little gas heater & then you had that tall galvanized tank. The heater was right by the tank &, of course, the heat from the tank & the gas would heat up pretty nice & she always sat with her back against the tank to keep her back warm. She'd sit there all day puffing on her little pipe. Every night at nine o'clock I used to come & get her. I'd say, 'Grandma, it's time for you to go to bed now.' She loved me so much she'd say, 'Is it time for me to go to bed, son? It's kind of early, isn't it?' I'd say, 'No, Grandma, look at the clock.' I'd show her the clock. It was nine o'clock. I'd say, 'Now I'm going to take you all the way upstairs and I'm going to pull your covers down and you've got to go to bed and get your rest.' She'd say, 'Thank you, child, you're certainly one sweet boy.' I'd carry her all the way upstairs to put her to bed."

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Mending Socks The Artist's Grandmother 1924

Archibald John Motley, Jr (1891-1981), who was born in New Orleans studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1910s, graduating in 1918. Unlike most artists identified with the Harlem Renaissance, Archibald Motley, Jr. never lived in Harlem. He won a fellowship to study in Paris during the late 1920s. In the Great Depression of the 1930s, Motley was employed by the federal Works Progress Administration to depict scenes from African-American history in a series of murals, some of which can be seen at Nichols Middle School in Evanston, Illinois. His images of mixed-race women often reflect the Creole culture of Louisiana with its various racial hierarchies, as his grandparents & parents continued to speak Creole at their new home in Chicago. His portraits represent African American women with dignity, in response to many period stereotypes as the "Mammy" or "Jezebel." He is most famous for his colorful chronicling of the African-American experience during the 1920s & 1930s.

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Jazz

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Octoroon 1922


Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Blues 1929

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Black Belt

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Woman Peeling Apples 1924

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) In the Back Room Card Players1934

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) The Octoroon Girl 1925

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Tongues

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Old Snuff Dipper 1928

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Saturday Night 1935

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Self Portrait 1933

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) The Picnic 1936

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Portrait of a Lady 1948

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Africa 1937

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Self Portrait

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Cocktails 1926

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Lawn Party 1937

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Sunday in the Park 1941

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Lawn Party 193

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Christmas Eve 1945

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Extra Paper 1946

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Gettin' Religion 1948

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Dans la Rue, Paris 1929

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Bronzeville at Night 1949

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Cafe Paris 1929

Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981) Casey and Mae in the Street 1948


Women by Bulgarian Jules Pascin 1885-1930 who painted in New Orleans 1914-1920


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David Wearing a Turbin 1907

Jules Pascin, an Expressionist painter, draftsman, & printmaker of Bulgarian birth, active in France, was renowned for his delicate draftsmanship & sensitive studies of women.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David 1908-10

Born as Julius Mordecai Pincas of Italian-Serbian & Spanish-Jewish parents, he attended secondary school in Vienna, returning in 1901 to Bucharest, where his family had settled, working briefly in the office of his father's grain-merchandizing business.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David in a Black Hat 1909

He was, however, becoming passionately interested in drawing, for which he showed precocious talent. At the age of 16, he also became passionately interested in a woman who ran a brothel & was allowed to draw the residents. In 1903, he moved to Munich, where he attended the art school run by Moritz Heymann.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David 1918

After Pascin moved to Paris in 1905, he became a central figure in the social & cultural life of the cafes & studios of Montparnasse. He soon became well known among Jewish artists in the neighborhood, who looked to him as an example of an accomplished Jewish artist.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David and a Friend 1914

At the outbreak of World War I, he lived in the United States from 1914 to 1920, sitting out World War I. He taught at the Telfair Academy in Savannah, Georgia, associated with the Telfair Art Museum. He & Hermine painted in New York City as well as in Miami, New Orleans, & Cuba.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David

Pascin married Hermine David at City Hall in New York City. The witnesses were fellow artists Max Weber & Maurice Sterne. Pascin become a citizen of the United States, although he was eager to return to Paris.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David Seated

Returning to Paris in 1920, he continued to compose paintings of delicately toned, thinly painted, but poetically bitter & ironic studies of women - including his wife, his mistress, & some of his prostitute acquaintances.


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David in a Blue Hat 1918

Although Pascin's watercolors, oils, and drawings were generally well received, a series of unfavorable reviews of his work in 1930, left him severely depressed. Suffering from this depression & severe alcoholism, he committed suicide in his Montmartre studio on the eve of a prestigious solo show he was to give the next day. 


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David with Fruit 1919


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Artist's Wife Hermine David


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh Wearing Fur 1920


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh at a Table 1928


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh 1925


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh Wearing the Roseal Dress


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh after Shampooing 1926


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh Wearing the Red Coat


Jules Pascin (Bulgarian-born French & American painter, 1885-1930) Lucy Krogh Wearing Purple 1925


Louisiana paintings by French-born Alfred Boisseau 1823–1901



Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) Miss Denegre or Miss Macheca



Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) A Choctaw Woman in Louisiana



Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) The Photographer

Alfred Boisseau was born in Paris, & studied with French academic painter, Paul Delaroche. He showed at the Paris Salon. During the 1840s, he sailed for America. He resided in New Orleans between 1845 & 1848. He was probably drawn to the city, because his brother served as secretary to the French consul.  While in New Orleans, Boisseau came into contact with the Choctaw Indians, who were eventually forced to leave Louisiana.


Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) Portrait of Young Woman 1849

He exhibited 2 works at the 1849 National Academy of Design in New York, a portrait & a Creole landscape. He had traveled to Cleveland by 1852, where he advertised as a portrait & landscape painter, art teacher, & art dealer. He remained in Ohio, until 1859. He settled in Montreal in 1860, where he was known to produce portraits of local society. He died in Buffalo, New York, in 1901.



Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901)The Artist and Her Models



Alfred Boisseau (Paris-born American painter, 1823–1901) Julie Bruneau Papineau 1872